God’s House Tower in Southampton

God’s House Tower, Southampton Exhibition Building, English Restoration Project, Architecture Images

God’s House Tower in Southampton

Arts and Heritage Centre in Hampshire, Southern England – design by Purcell architects

30 Apr 2019

God’s House Tower

Architects: Purcell

Location: Southampton, Hampshire, England

God’s House Tower, a new £3.1million arts and heritage centre for the south coast

God's House Tower in Southampton
photo © Thierry Bal and a space arts

Following a £3.1million refurbishment this Grade 1 scheduled monument will reopen in September as a unique arts and heritage centre. Housing a permanent exhibition on the history of the 700-year-old building, GHT will also be home to two new gallery spaces showcasing specially commissioned contemporary art and period works from prestigious south coast collections.

God's House Tower in Southampton
photo © GregMoss and a space arts

The project will breathe new life into this iconic building, culturally reanimating the area and retelling the lost stories of GHT for new audiences. A full arts and heritage programme featuring exhibitions, events, workshops and talks is in development with high profile artists, writers, historians and performers already confirmed.

An in-house cafe with food and drinks from local providers, a community arts and heritage library and a shop selling a full range of GHT merchandise will complete the offer. The building’s launch will act as a catalyst in the rejuvenation of Southampton’s Old Town as well as becoming a key attraction for visitors to the city. GHT’s position on Southampton’s waterfront will also make the building a must-see destination for cruise passengers arriving in the city.

The September launch is perfectly timed for the start of the Mayflower 400 programme – when Southampton will become a key player in international anniversary commemorations of the Pilgrim Fathers’ journey to the New World on board the Mayflower ship.

GHT has been conceived, developed and managed by Daniel Crow, director of ‘a space’ arts. Recently awarded National Portfolio status by Arts Council England, ‘a space’ arts has been supporting Southampton’s arts community since 2000 – and GHT is the organisation’s most ambitious project to date.

God's House Tower in Southampton
photo © a space arts

Daniel Crow said: “This project has been seven years in the making and we can’t wait to gift God’s House Tower back to the public. Our exhibitions have been specially curated to bring the building and its history to life, and our inaugural programme will include work by some of the most exciting contemporary artists working in the south today. The works we have chosen for our Collections Gallery have never been seen together in public before – and will help shine a light on GHT’s incredible and unique history.”

He added: “The programme at God’s House Tower will allow its rich history and heritage to inspire the arts and for the arts to interpret the spaces in new and interesting ways. We hope that all visitors will have a thoroughly enjoyable journey discovering this intriguing building and the role it played in the city and nation’s history as well as all the fascinating stories of the people behind the Tower. We want them to leave feeling they have a better understanding of this important part of our local and national heritage. This is an exciting new development for the city of Southampton and the South of England.”

About ‘a space’ arts
The organisation strives to support emerging artists and inspire audiences from Southampton and the surrounding regions by creating opportunities to engage with high quality arts and heritage experiences. Since 2000 we have developed and managed a project portfolio to attain our goals, including the Northam Road Gallery, the Bargate Monument Galley, ArtVaults, the Arches Studios, Tower House and the Sorting Office. In 2018 we became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and will be delivering a range of new projects across the next four years to complement GHT and the project portfolio.

God's House Tower in Southampton
photo © Greg Moss and a space arts

About God’s House Tower
God’s House Tower is a distinctive new arts and heritage venue housed in a Grade I scheduled monument in Southampton’s Old Town. Initially built to form the southeastern cornerstone of the town’s medieval defensive walls across its 700-year history the Tower and its surrounding buildings have been used as the town’s gunnery, prison, warehouse, mortuary, and from 1961 to 2011 as Southampton’s Museum of Archaeology. In 2019 it will reopen to the public after a £3.1million refurbishment project with a permanent exhibition on the Tower’s history, two new art galleries featuring works from collections alongside new commissions, a cafe, library, shop and event space.

The GHT project has been funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Southampton City Council, Barker-Mill Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, Friends of Southampton Museums, Archives and Galleries (FoSMAG).

God's House Tower in Southampton
photo © Greg Moss and a space arts

God’s House Tower, Southampton – Building Information

Restoration Architects: Purcell, Dan Talkes

Photography: Thierry Bal, GregMoss and a space arts

God’s House Tower in Southampton images / information received 300419

Purcell

Location: Southampton, Hampshire, England, UK




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