Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

Whitechapel Art Gallery


In 2004, Whitechapel Art Gallery, founded in 1901 by Samuel Barnett, experienced a reinterpretation by the architects‘ partnership Robbrecht en Daem architecten (Ghent, Belgium) and Whitherford Watson Mann Architects (London, Great Britain). The well-preserved art nouveau building was merged with the neighbouring Passmore Edwards Library (1892), thus creating the large exhibition area so urgently needed.

Particular attention was paid to artificial light and in particular the shape of the luminaires. Around 1900, the classic form of a sphere was one of the first designs for electric lamps. This form, combined with modern, energy-optimised lighting technology, has been perfected by us. These classic luminaires harmonise with the successful restructuring concept and create an illuminance level similar to that of daylight. The length of the pendants varies according to the room height, and ceiling or wall luminaires are also meaningfully integrated.

Historical building elements are harmoniously integrated in the modified exhibition area, forming an interesting contrast to modern room design. Besides the new exhibition areas, there is a new restaurant in the ground floor, which however is also accessible from the foyer.

The previous pretentious neo-Renaissance façade was structurally modified in the 30s in order to create access for the Underground to Aldgate East stop. Even today, the busy Hammersmith & City and District lines run through here, thus allowing interaction between the gallery and life in this part of London.

Client
Trustees of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

Architect
Robbrecht en Daem architecten, Gent
Witherford Watson Mann Architects, London

Project management
Mott MacDonald, London

Light planning
Max Fordham LLP, London

Electrical planning
Max Fordham LLP, London

Electrical installation
Scomac Services, Aldershot

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Luminaires used