Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery Wins Best New Building Prize
Caruso St. John Architects designed the award-winning complex.
The Newport Street Gallery has been getting a lot of buzz since artist Damien Hirst opened the exhibition space housing his collection of art works in 2015. Now, the 37,000-square-foot gallery is getting attention for its design, rather than for the art.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded the gallery its RIBA Stirling Prize. This year, judges included Patrik Schumacher, Paul Monaghan, Roisin Heneghan, Michael Hussey, and Rachel Whiteread. They considered “design vision; innovation and originality; capacity to stimulate, engage and delight occupants and visitors; accessibility and sustainability; how fit the building is for its purpose, and the level of client satisfaction” among the prize criteria.
Caruso St. John Architects is the firm responsible for redesigning three former theater carpentry and scenery painting workshops in Vauxhall, South London. Two new edifices were built around the three listed Victorian buildings, with a rhythmic series of geometric facades.
Besides exhibition space, the building also houses Hirst’s restaurant collaboration with Mark Hix, Pharmacy 2, and an Other Criteria shop, that stocks publications, artist prints, and objects.
So far, Newport Street Gallery has hosted two exhibitions in its inaugural year: “John Hoyland: Power Stations, Paintings 1964-1982,” and the current show, “Jeff Koons: Now,” which closes on October 16.
RIBA president Jane Duncan said of the winning design, “This project exemplifies the best of UK architecture—a highly considered and creative project that brings to life a previously-unloved pocket of the city.”
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