Charles Asprey, who financed the development, and the directors of Cabinet Gallery, Martin McGeown and Andrew Wheatley, had been looking for nearly a decade to find a permanent gallery space. They eventually found a site in the former Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens a venue for music, dining and art established in 1729. The site was the irregular footprint of the demolished Lord Clyde Pub, next to a former service road. Working with friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Lambeth Council Trevor Horne Architects were able to consolidate the site and enlarge the public park by incorporating the road.
The practice, which has previously worked with such galleries as Victoria Miro and PEER, worked collaboratively with Charles Asprey and the gallery directors, plus a number of their artists to develop the design.
The brief was for a bespoke gallery that would reflect the iconoclastic and international reputation of Cabinet. The result is a five storey brick building marking an entrance to the park with a twelve-sided gallery that determined the overall form of the building – exhibition and office space on the lower levels, a fully glazed events space on top with flats between, the flats helping finance the project.
Trevor Horne Architects worked closely with the gallery directors and the artists with whom they work to incorporate their work into three elements of the building. Marc Camille Chaimowicz proposed the large oak window design, Lucy McKenzie produced the hand painted trompe l’oeil ceramic cladding to the balconies, and John Knight conceived the narrow ‘slot’ aperture between the park and gallery, based on the historic doors that artists would have cut into walls or floors through which to pass canvases.
Materials include Petersen Kolumba bricks, oak window frames, exposed concrete and basalt flooring. The concrete voided slab structure allows for a column free gallery space and gives greater flexibility for the upper floors layout whilst reducing embodied CO2.
Trevor Horne Architects
Trevor Horne, Aaron Down
Vauxhall, London, UK (https://goo.gl/maps/NjamETfJuTm)
Gross Built Area:
Quinn London LTD