White Cube Art Gallery, Bermondsey Street Building, London Architecture, Architect, Photos
White Cube Gallery
Bermondsey Art Space, London, England, UK – design by Casper Mueller Kneer, architects
22 Jun 2012
White Cube Bermondsey – Award
Design: Casper Mueller Kneer Architects
Jay Jopling’s contemporary art in London
White Cube Bermondsey – RIBA Awards winner, 2012
AIA UK Excellence in Design Awards : Commendation. 20 Apr 2012
12 Oct 2011
White Cube London
Architect: Casper Mueller Kneer
WHITE CUBE BERMONDSEY DESIGNED BY CASPER MUELLER KNEER OPENS
White Cube is pleased to announce the opening of a third major space in London. The building, located on Bermondsey Street in south London opens today, Wednesday 12 October 2011. It is the largest of the gallery’s three London sites, providing more than 5440 m 2 (58,000 sq ft) of interior space on a site of 1.7 acres (74,300 sq ft). The building dates from the 1970s and was primarily used as a warehouse before the current refurbishment.
Photographs Ben Westoby Courtesy White Cube:
White Cube Bermondsey has been designed by Casper Mueller Kneer Architects who are based in London and Berlin. The building has been altered to include three principal exhibition spaces, substantial warehousing, private viewing rooms, an auditorium and a bookshop. The ‘South Galleries’ will provide the principal display area for White Cube’s expanding programme of significant exhibitions. The largest display area with 780 m² (8,400 sq ft). Three smaller galleries each 80 m², collectively known as the ‘North Galleries’, will feature an innovative new programme of exhibitions. In addition, at the centre of the building, there is a top-lit gallery of 81 m 2 entitled ‘9 × 9 × 9 ’. The building also includes substantial warehousing, private viewing rooms, an archive room, an auditorium and a bookshop. The auditorium will allow White Cube to present an education programme, artists’ films and lectures.
The inaugural exhibition will be ‘Structure & Absence’, a group show that uses Chinese scholars’ rocks as an organising device to take a fresh look at contemporary abstraction. It includes work by Andreas Gursky, Wade Guyton, Damien Hirst, Sergej Jensen, Brice Marden, Gabriel Orozco, Sterling Ruby, Robert Ryman and Jeff Wall, amongst others.
To coincide with the significant expansion of the gallery’s activities, White Cube will introduce a new programme of exhibitions, ‘Inside the White Cube’, profiling work by artists who have not previously shown at the gallery. The series provides a platform for exploring new developments in international contemporary art, across a range of practices and media. The programme begins with Marieta Chirulescu, Mary Corse and Kitty Kraus.
Jay Jopling said: “The opening of White Cube Bermondsey is an affirmation of the ongoing strength of London as a creative hub and the next chapter in White Cube’s history. I’m immensely excited by the opportunities it will give us to expand the range and ambition of all aspects of our programme, not least the chance to make even more quality exhibitions with world-class artists.”
White Cube Bermondsey
144-152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ
144–152 Bermondsey Street is an existing warehouse and office building, set back from Bermondsey Street via an entrance yard. The building dates from the 1970s and has a modernist industrial appearance, with long horizontal window bands and a simple cubic shape. The outer walls of the building are constructed from dark brown engineering brick, with a concrete and steel framed internal structure.
“We were attracted by the dimensions of the original building, the deep views of up to 70 m”, Jens Casper says. “We tried to adopt these deep views for the Gallery Building. For us the project is a play of light, volumes and proportional relationships set against a raw material palette. Geometrically, each space is in itself very simple, yet the sequence of spaces creates a complex ensemble and rich spatial experience for the visitor.”
Materially, the industrial character of the building was maintained and enhanced by new additions and modifications. The structure was generally retained, but opened up towards Bermondsey Street. The entrance, reception, delivery areas and front yard were substantially modified and a new canopy has been introduced. The new entrance yard is enclosed by a sequence of 151 vertical steel fins along Bermondsey Street.
Internally, a series of new spaces were created – both public and private functions areorganised around a central corridor which is 70 m long. Tube lights mounted onto raw-steel mesh ceiling panels provide this space with a distinct rhythm.
There are three principal exhibition spaces of varying proportions and light conditions, offering flexibility in the scale and nature of the artworks that can be installed:
‘9x9x9’ is a centrally located cubic space with a 9 m high ceiling. It has a translucent fabric ceiling and is flooded with natural light. The ‘South Galleries’, the largest display area, provides 780 m² of column-free space. They are fitted with stretch ceiling panels and track lights, are part day-lit and sub-dividable. The ‘North Galleries’ are smaller and more experimental in character with fluorescent lighting. A 60 seat auditorium allows the presentation of films and lectures in blackout conditions.
ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION
The new gallery spaces were inserted as self-supporting freestanding volumes, barely touching the envelope of the existing building.
The powerfloated concrete floors can take loadings up to 100 KN/m². Walls and ceilings are constructed as steel cages allowing art to be installed at almost any point within the space.
Structural exclusion zones allow the punching through of walls at selected locations to allow entry points into the exhibition spaces to be coordinated with the ever-changing displays.
Doors are generally oversized to ease the transport of art between the spaces. The largest set of doors measures 4.3 m in height and 3.7 m in width. Large wall sections can be opened to allow the movement of works of art between the galleries, these operate around single points pivots measuring up to 5.4 x 3.2 m.
The materials that are set against the white gallery walls are industrial in character, often untreated and self-coloured. The floors are powerfloated natural grey concrete. Ceiling materials include stretch fabrics for viewing rooms and galleries. Untreated and powdercoated steel meshes are used for the public corridor, the new entrance canopy and the entrance divider. Doors are made from untreated mild steel or stainless steel and glass. Concrete, grey granite and steel dominate the external landscaping.
White Cube London – Building Information
Architect: Casper Mueller Kneer
Jens Casper, Dipl.-Ing BDA / Director Olaf Kneer, AA Dipl ARB RIBA / Director Marianne Mueller, AA Dipl ARB / Director Graham Sproul DipArch RIBA ARB / Project Architect
Services Engineers: Bob Costello Associates – Bob, Costello, Brian Thompson and Martin Grey
Structural Engineer: Atelier One – Aran Chadwick
Fire Safety Consultants: Ramboll UK – Rommill Bettany
CDM Consultants: Goddard Consulting – Marcus Goddard
Project Managers: Millbridge Group – Graham Clarke and Tony Scott
Quantity Surveyors: Millbridge Group – David Longstaff and Robert Smyth
Site support architect: RHWL Architects – Barry Pritchard, Julian Temperley and Alasdair Mealey
Planning Consultants: DP9 – Richard Ward and Rory McManus
Acoustic Consultants: BDP – Huw Myles
Main Contractor: Life Build Solutions – Ken Adams, Ric Thornhill and Antony Raine
White Cube London images / information from Casper Mueller Kneer
Location:144-152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ