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The Hockney Gallery

Part 1 Project 2000
Andrew Wood
University of Bath, UK
This gallery, exhibiting the work of David Hockney and Anthony Gormley, sits as a sculpture in the landscape, responding to the form of the hill and the natural characteristics of the location. Views over the valley to the east are spectacular, so the building acts, in part, as a lookout to this aspect. The Programme is laid out around the contours in a serpentine form.

The spatial arrangement of the gallery is derived from an idea of a surface which threads back through itself, turning the inside towards the outside. This addresses the notion of the relationship between internal and external space present in the work of both artists.

The building consists of interlocking welded steel arcs that spring out of the ground like waves. They form a notional circulation responding to the Hockney and Gormley galleries alternately. Oblique views between spaces intensify the relationship between occupant and the artwork, whilst the panoramic view of the valley through the full height glazed facade constantly relates the visitor back to the landscape. The Hockney Gallery is placed against the slope to control light, avoiding the rejected black box gallery typology. Parts of the programme that cannot occur under the free space set up under the arcs are contained in simple box-like terracotta vessels, continuing the rugged, earthy nature of the palette of materials.

Andrew Wood

The work here is representative of the final projects of the group graduating with a BSc in General Architectural studies, this summer 2000. The year's studio work was divided into two parts:

1. A joint collaborative project between architects and civil engineers held for a period of eight weeks in the autumn of 1999. This was for a New Gateway to Bristol: a study of the future of Temple Meads Station.
2. A final project for an art gallery and sculpture park/landscape undertaken over a period of fourteen weeks. Before this, the students undertook group precedent studies of the artists Hockney & Gormley and a range of relevant galleries. Groups also studied and presented three contrasting sites in the Bath area, from which the students had to chose one.

The projects presented here are taken from the final project, the Hockney & Gormley art galleries.

Attitude towards final BSc year project work.

It is the aim of the school that students achieve competence as well as design flair by the end of the first degree. The thin sandwich BSc course is seen as a preparation for useful employment in the industry as well as for the second degree (which is an MArch at Bath). In the final project, it is expected that the ideas explored will be supported by evidence of an understanding of the processes needed to realise them.
Great stress is given to the importance of tying projects firmly into an architectural context. The nature of that context is carefully chosen by the year staff so that it presents challenges that match the students' maturity, and encourages the best students to experiment.

The art galleries by Mark Eacott and Andrew Wood are on two contracting sites. The sites are strong in their topographical character and are full of interesting 'overtones'. Both students produced a clear analysis that led to an imaginative design synthesis, which they developed by researching a new steel product, Bi-steel. There are no completed buildings using this technique at present and it is hoped that these schemes and a number of others produced in the year will be published to show its potential. Although the architectural approaches of Eacott and Wood are very different, both schemes move from concept to detail with a confidence and sensitivity that is unusual for Part 1 students.

• Page Hits: 1286         • Entry Date: 09 February 2000         • Last Update: 10 May 2001