Established in 1982 as a centre for modern art, Pallant House Gallery occupies an impressive Grade 1 listed Georgian townhouse in the historic heart of Chichester. Its success relies on its ability to show works in the manner in which they had originally been collected, in domestic scaled, idiosyncratic and highly personalised interiors.
In 2006, the New Wing, designed by Long & Kentish, was added to house the collection of Colin St John Wilson and M.J. Long, which includes around 500 drawings, prints and sculptures by artists such as Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi and Lucian Freud. Few galleries can boast such an important assemblage of modern British paintings.
Wright & Wright is working with the Gallery to prepare proposals for a new collections centre and transform the visitor experience, picking up on a long-term plan set with MJ Long. This entails refurbishing the existing galleries, adding a new learning gallery and supporting spaces, improving accessibility, and enhancing sustainability credentials.
We are delighted to be working with Wright & Wright to develop Pallant House Gallery’s ambitious plans for the future.
With such significant existing historic and modern architecture at the heart of a beautiful conservation area, we felt that Wright & Wright were the best practice to develop bold plans that will be sensitive and thoughtful, enabling us to better serve the needs of our diverse audiences and community, and to better care for and present our internationally-significant collection.
Director, Pallant House Gallery
Wright & Wright collaborated with the Gallery to design a miniature art gallery to house miniature art works created by contemporary British artists in 2020. It follows previous model art galleries in the Gallery’s collection from 1934 and 2000. The 2020 Model Art Gallery acts as a time capsule of contemporary British art – marking a unique period of British life during the Covid-19 pandemic - and as a piece of art and architecture in its own right.
Where architectural models typically often represents an idea, this model is a realisation of a set of ideas. The Model Art Gallery aims to re-frame, diversify and augment interaction with artwork; engaging new audiences through offering dynamic perspectives on art and the spaces through which they are viewed.
The model exists within its own scale and was designed specifically for the miniature artwork; each artist was given dimensions of 100 x 150 mm to work within. Its scale was carefully considered to provide the best viewing experience, and stands at just under 2m tall.
We sought to create a piece of architecture derived from the form of Pallant House Gallery itself; as an abstraction of the Grade 1 Listed Queen-Anne Town House (where the Gallery’s permanent collection is housed) in the form of a finely carved solid that has been subtly pushed and pulled, and sliced open to provide a dynamic object in the round.
With the profound effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on health and wellbeing, the collaborative team sought to create something inspiring and uplifting; the outcome of many minds and hands working together in difficult times. The team hopes it will galvanise new generations into exploring and understanding art in a new way.