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New gallery spaces are juxtaposed with the original Victorian bathhouse structure The Victorian bathhouse was previously used as classrooms and studio space Students and the wider public will be able to experience and test-drive new forms of art Curators and artists from the UK and overseas will put on exhibitions at the gallery Goldsmiths' former students include Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and Antony Gormley
31 Jul 2014

Architecture collective Assemble has seen off a shortlist of five rival firms to win the contract for Goldsmiths College's £1.8m art gallery in New Cross, Lewisham.

The gallery will incorporate the Victorian bathhouse at Laurie Grove, opposite the Ben Pimlott Building on Goldsmiths' campus. The design aims to capitalise on the "raw and robust" cast iron tanks and existing building, which will be juxtaposed with two steel frame 'lanterns', which allow for a varied gallery space.

More than 80 firms from around the world submitted expressions of interest in May 2014, and six firms were shortlisted, including 6A Architects and HAT Projects. The winner was decided by a panel chaired by the renowned architect David Chipperfield and Antony Gormley.

Assemble's recent projects have included Folly for a Flyover, a temporary cinema underneath a motorway in Hackney Wick, and Theatre on the Fly, an experimental venue commissioned by Chichester Festival Theatre.

Collective members Paloma Strelitz and Adam Willis said they envisaged the new gallery becoming a new centre for the arts in South London.

"The Victorian bathhouse at Laurie Grove offers a series of extraordinary found spaces," they said. "The cast iron water tanks have a powerful materiality which will be preserved and amplified, while new top-lit galleries will provide a rich special counterpoint in an ensemble offering unique opportunities for the display of art."

The gallery, which is expected to open in Autumn 2016, is being funded by external donations, a significant part of which is being raised through an auction of artwork donated by Goldsmiths' famous alumni at Christie's at the beginning of next year.

Goldsmiths' former students include Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and Anthony Gormley.

"The arrival of a gallery is an important moment in the development of Goldsmiths," said Gormley. "This will become a resource for the university and for London: a place where students and the wider public can experience and test-drive new forms of art, as well as see relevant examples of art from the past, ancient and modern."

The new gallery will go some way to redress the balance of investment in student-art buildings in south London compared to the north. In 2011, Central Saint Martins relocated to a new campus, designed by Stanton Williams, in a Grade II listed granary building and two transit sheds at Kings Cross.


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