A series of gentle additions will offer greatly improved support services for visitors to Kettle’s Yard House and Gallery. There will be a new courtyard and welcome area and a new café and shop on the ground floor. Gallery spaces will be remodelled and expanded and a dedicated wing will revolutionise the gallery’s capacity for education projects, with a spacious learning studio designed to accommodate a whole school class.
The entire spatial sequence will feel intended—from the artisanal cottages acquired by founder Jim Ede in 1956, through the 1970s gallery block by Leslie Martin and David Owers, into the new wing. Continuity will be achieved by sensitivity to the domestic scale and calm aesthetic of the original house and by repetition of the brickwork and simple volumes of rough plaster of the existing galleries.
Work is currently progressing well on site and the new building will open to the public in 2018.
The Leslie Martin galleries were predominantly built in brick, as seen in this 1970 photograph of the opening exhibition (above left). But over the years this area was altered to allow for an education space; the walls were plastered, a door added, and the bench drastically altered (above centre, 2014).
The final photograph (above right) is from site a few weeks ago, where the original brick walls have been revealed and a new brick bench is almost complete. The revealed walls are peppered with drill holes from 47 years of hanging work. This will be left as found.