York Art Gallery has opened following an £8 million redevelopment.
The investment has allowed for the opening up of areas of the building which have previously been hidden away, bringing new light and atmosphere to the Grade II listed building.
During the two year closure, and as part of the refurbishment, the original Victorian roof space has been revealed, previously hidden behind a suspended ceiling. Now there is a new mezzanine gallery below the Victorian ceiling and barrel vaulted roof, one of two galleries home to the new Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA).
Arup provided structural, mechanical and electrical engineering services to the project working with Ushida Findlay Architects and Simpson & Brown, who are conservation architects, in a joint venture.
Arup’s lighting specialists also developed the overall lighting design, working closely with the gallery curators to introduce controlled natural light and deliver a considered gallery and façade lighting scheme.
Simon Nevill, Arup project director, said: “We have been delighted to work on this exciting project for York Museums Trust. Through the refurbishment of the structure and the building services York Art Gallery has been completely transformed and updated into a wonderful modern gallery.
“The new mezzanine gallery will provide an excellent exhibition space for the art works. The lighting designs have been very important in the overall look and feel of the new galleries.”
In addition to the mezzanine gallery there is now a second new first floor gallery and a suite of three galleries on the ground floor when previously there were only two. The main entrance foyer and café were also upgraded, learning space was increased and there is access to a new gardens area at the rear of the gallery.
The first exhibits in the new gallery include works by Italian Old Masters, modern works by artists such as David Hockney, Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer, installations by contemporary artists and more than 2,000 ceramic works.