Gianni Botsford Architects
This private art gallery in Fitzrovia was conceived by the architect as an addition to the garden landscape, providing a space for the display of the client’s collection as well as a hidden WC, a balcony space overlooking the garden and an outdoor kitchen. In the gallery, the geometric structure of the layered façade is reflected in the semi-transparent steel-mesh panels on which works are displayed, which slide along ceiling tracks to reveal multiple layers of display space. The new space is accessed through a Grade II listed house.
The dendritic façade’s weathering-steel frame is fabricated from flat, stiffened plates branching across the three storeys and supported on just two 120 mm x 12 mm steel posts. This façade, in a reversal of the usual structural hierarchy, is also the main structural frame of the gallery, supporting all the floors and roof as well as providing stability. All of the façade’s steel members are made up of a family of just three sizes: 120 mm, 100 mm and 70 mm—each fabricated from flat plate and selected for each member according to the load path and the forces to which the member is subjected. The numerous connections (45+) were carefully detailed to conceal the bolts. Further, as the structural frame sits outside the building envelope, the floor beams are detailed with a thermal break at the glazing line. In effect, the main floor beam stops at the glazing line and is supported by steel plates cantilevered from the façade.
The Layered Gallery was featured on Episode 4 of Channel 4’s Inside Out Homes on 4th August 2016.