Contemporary makeover differentiates clearly between fastidiously-conserved old and the new
Purcell for A Space Arts
Contract value: £1.34m
Cost per m2: £2,481
The 13th century GHT was built as a fortress and served as gaol, mortuary and museum, before closing in 2011 to be revitalised as a cultural venue. The brief required accessible spaces suitable for display of contemporary art and historic artefacts – and capability for ‘VR tours’, events and functions to help generate income. And where the historic building itself was an ‘artefact’, this needed to be explained and interpreted. The design team adopted an entirely contemporary design style, differentiating clearly between fastidiously-conserved old and the new. Fire protection and services needed to invisibly integrate with the historic fabric, while the mid-20th century interventions were reconfigured and upgraded to create ‘sparkling’ new gallery and public spaces.