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Storehouse of Art

Part 1 Project 2009
John Kennedy
University of Strathclyde Glasgow UK
The Storehouse of Art is my design for an extension to the Gothenburg Museum of Art In South-East Sweden. Situated in the heart of the city, the Museum of Art built in 1923, is a striking example of Nordic Classicism.

The design was for a competition which commenced and finished in Spring 2009. My design is a reaction against the “Bilbao Effect”whereby a new gallery building almost overwhelms its contents, and which motivates many contemporary gallery designs. I feel that Architecture should act as a frame in which to enhance and to accentuate, not to interrupt, the daily life within buildings and places. This design, I hope, exhibits this ideal.

The extension, is located to the rear of the Museum of Art, Gothenburg’s cultural icon and centre-piece and my design is a response to the difficulty of integrating substantial new buildings within a sensitive and historic cultural quarter, as well as providing a building which can accommodate a demanding brief.

In designing the extension in a Modernist style with a Classicial sensitivity and attitude, a hierarchy between my proposed extension and the existing Museum is created.The extension attempts to minimise disrupting Ericsson’s dramatic brick facades existing Museum whilst simultaneously creating attractively framed views, extending the existing architectural promenade, as well as maintaining its own architectural presence within the sensitive urban context.

In contrast to the existing museum, the art in the proposed extension is not arranged by theme or even displayed. Rather, the design allows for the art to be stored in an ad-hoc fashion. The visitor can then walk throughout these informal, de-contextualised collections in various states of repair and have a far greater level of intimacy and engagement with the works than if they were arranged in the formal fashion of the existing museum.Therefore, while the galleries of the proposed extension do not have the formality of specific rooms, neither do they have ambiguous “exhibition spaces.” The spaces of the gallery are extruded out of the top of the brick volume, providing the only external clue of the varied nature of the extension’s interior.

John Kennedy

RIBA Bronze Medal
John Kennedy

The project submitted for the RIBA Bronze Medal by John Kennedy is his final Year 3 semester U/G thesis proposal for a new museum extension to the National gallery, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The site is situated immediately adjacent to the existing National Museum. John Kennedy’s proposal is a robust unapologetic response, to propose a neighbour to the existing museum, of equal and contemporary character to partner the existing building.
There is considerable confidence shown in the handling of both the external expression of the building as well as the internal spatial organisation. The former is perhaps the most contentious issue, and yet the proposal accepts and rises to the strategic approach, developing a building of some sophistication and respect to the existing. Internally the gallery acknowledges the external expression, and of its architectural type it is considered to be very mature for a student in the 3rd year of study.

The method of representation is also considered notable, for a clearly skilled ability in digital representation, and also for the use of traditional hand methods of representation.

The work is a conclusion of a consistently high calibre across all years of the Part 1, and is seen as a conclusion in a formal journey of architectural enquiry as evidenced in that portfolio.

Senior Teaching Fellow in Architecture
U/G Course Director (Part 1) Foundation Studies
International Co-ordinator

August 2009

Mr Michael Angus
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