It may not be obvious on a first visit to Science Gallery London, but the building originally dates from the early 18th century when it was part of the original Guy’s Hospital. The east wing of the hospital, where the Gallery is now situated, was bombed in the Second World War and reconstructed in the late 60s.
Last night, the work undertaken to transform this building into a innovative and inspiring a space where science and art collide was recognised by Architects' Journal and was named best refurb project at the 2019 AJ Architecture Awards.
In 2013 LTS Architects were commissioned by King’s College London to undertake the restoration and in 2018 Science Gallery London opened to visitors for the first time. Eighty-five per cent of the building was retained in the transformation into the Gallery, with only the internal partitions, toilets and some sections of the floor slab removed. As part of the project, the Georgian Guy’s Courtyard was transformed from a car park into a newly landscaped public square which has proved incredibly popular with local residents and workers, as well as students, staff and visitors to both King’s and the Gallery itself.
Science Gallery London welcomed 350,000 visitors in its first year, with. the design of the building an integral part of the Gallery’s mission to ignite creativity and discovery where science and art collide, and to further King’s vision to make the world a better place.
Nick O’Donnell, Director of Estates & Facilities for King’s College London said: ‘The success of Science Gallery London in its first year is of great pride to the university, and goes to show that the capital project has delivered on the vision we set out to achieve over 5 years ago – to provide a welcoming and engaging space for visitors to connect with research at King’s.’
The judges were particularly impressed by the project’s carbon strategy and approach to sustainable design. They also commended the project for demonstrating exceptional collaboration. ‘It looked to be a great client and architect relationship,’ they said, concluding: ‘This is a very worthwhile project for the wider community’.
Tim Henbrey, Associate Director (Operations) at Science Gallery London said: ‘Working with LTS Architects has felt like a true partnership. A year after we first opened we continue to collaborate on a range of projects to ensure the visitor experience is of the highest standard and our connection with our local communities is front and centre.’
Greg Shannon, Director at LTS Architects added: ‘Science Gallery London has been an extraordinary project that truly showcases the research strengths of King’s College London. It’s fantastic to see our ambitions for the building have come to life – the team find the café to be one of their favourite places for a work meeting as it’s such an inspiring space!’
Congratulations to everyone that worked on the building project!
Image: Peter Landers
November 21, 2019