Walsall art gallery – worth the trip

It has been a while now, but it is so much to do at the moment, and a final crit next week. I will post somedevelopment work of my proposal later this week (hopefully). Meanwhile:

If you are in London and are particularly interested in contemporary architecture, I would recommend a visit to New Art Gallery Walsall. It is a few hour journey by train, and though Walsall in itself is not worth the visit, the gallery is indeed.

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For our tectonic module we are asked to research a chosen building from a list given to us. I decided to have a closer look at Walsall New Art Gallery in Walsall (a 20 minutes train ride form Birmingham). I visited the gallery, and was astonished by the great architectural features of the building. The architects, Caruso St John obviously put a lot of care and thought in to the design.

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A few things that really appealed to me was the arrangement of rooms and how the relate to each other, the detailed materiality of certain building elements such as handrails covered with beautiful leather, a dark polished concrete floor, crisp but warm wooden paneling etc.

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Not surprisingly, the building has been criticized for its external appearance. It is clad in greyish terracotta tiles, but the colour of the facade changes during the day and can appear orange, grey, reflective and so on. Windows are arranged from the inside – some windows exposes the elevator shaft with elevator going up and down inside – and this, together with a range of different sized teracotta tiles and a stainless steel base, creates a lively facade asking you to identify what is going on rather than judge it by the first impression.

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