The Layered Gallery / Gianni Botsford Architects

The Layered Gallery / Gianni Botsford Architects

© Luigi Parise © Luigi Parise © Luigi Parise © Luigi Parise + 24

Gallery  · 
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Gianni Botsford Architects
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
  • Photographer Created with Sketch.
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Cameron Bloom, Dolce Steel Novo, Hunza Outdoor Lighting, Lagares, Lazenby, Palladio, Thresher Fabrications
  • Structural Engineer


  • Services Engineer

    Pearce and Associates
  • Quantity Surveyor

    David Parker

  • Historical Consultant

    Mitchell Taylor Workshop
  • Lanscape Architect

    Todd Longsaffe-Gowan
  • Contractor

    Verona Construction
  • Planning Authority

  • Building Control

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© Luigi Parise
© Luigi Parise

Text description provided by the architects. The Layered Gallery, located in central London, houses a private collection of photographs, prints, pastels and lithographs. The five-storey Grade II listed building it is extended from dates from 1770. The aim of client and architect has been to create an enclosed courtyard structure that provides a retreat and place to contemplate art. This has been achieved by adding a new elevation to the building both substantial and sufficiently light to bring life into what is now a garden-like inner court.

Exploaded Axonometric
Exploaded Axonometric

To achieve this, Gianni Botsford Architects has designed a sequence of screens creating a layered effect. The first, outer screen is purely structural and made of Corten, or ‘weathering’ steel. The second is a Corten-framed glazed screen. Inside, a further layered effect is achieved through red blinds protecting the collection of artworks and the hanging of Corten screens on rails used for storing and viewing the collection. The openings within the two outer screens create a filigree elevation reinforcing the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. This is emphasised further by planting growing up within the Corten structure.

© Luigi Parise
© Luigi Parise

Inside, finishes are robust in much the same way as warehouses or stores that have been converted into art galleries. On the ground floor, an existing exposed brick wall is contrasted with a Corten cabinet designed by Gianni Botsford Architects.

© Luigi Parise
© Luigi Parise

The cabinet introduces an element of uncertainty within the space: it conceals a folding WC. A homage to the traditional outside lavatory, or a play, perhaps on Duchamp’s “Fountain”, this gesture adds a sense of surprise and transformation.

© Luigi Parise
© Luigi Parise

On the lower ground level, the architects have placed an outdoor kitchen and, on the first floor, a viewing bench in a sun trap within the Gallery itself. Museum quality UV- treated glazing has been used throughout to protect the collection from excessive light. However, the architects have been at pains to avoid the hermetic effects that can result from an environment designed purely to protect and conserve its contents. The filigree quality of the screens is a key component in this approach.

Lower Ground Floor
Lower Ground Floor

Another theme Gianni Botsford Architects have embraced is that of the ephemeral. The pre-rusted Corten surfaces achieve this, for example, by evoking the notion of ageing though time.

© Luigi Parise
© Luigi Parise

The architects liken the building to a tree, because its structure has two load-bearing columns in the centre with lighter membranes branching out. Trees, of course, are layered structures that shift with changes in weather as does the Layered Gallery with the variation of light and reflections on its glass panels.


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Project location

Address: London, United Kingdom

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "The Layered Gallery / Gianni Botsford Architects" 10 May 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
© Luigi Parise

分层画廊 / Gianni Botsford Architects

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