Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects have completed a £3.7m extension to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London. The Gallery will reopen to the public on 2 August 2012, in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The new world-class destination and international centre of excellence for the study of Morris cost £10m to revamp the space, including the garden and park areas. The space now boasts new galleries, learning resources and a Georgian Orangery inspired extension.
The 18th Century, Grade II* listed building has been completely refurbished, revealing many of the orginal Georgian features for the first time and enabling people to experience the house as Morris would have done. The gardens have been restored using design and planting inspired by Morris and plans of the garden from the 18th Century. The drive to the house has been remodelled as a circular carriageway sweep, giving a fitting, and historically accurate approach to the house. The Gardens have been restored as part of a wider refurbishment of Lloyd Park, in which the Gallery is situated.
The transformation delivers increased and fully-refurbished exhibition space with three new galleries and the chance for previously unseen works to be displayed, a library, research and education centre and a new Georgian orangery-inspired extension housing a new tearoom and balcony overlooking the gardens. The work has created approximately 50 per cent more exhibition space and increased the number of galleries from nine to 12, including a new temporary exhibition space.
John Pringle, a director of the firm, said: ?The main challenge was to design an extension which as in keeping with the main building, which was built in 1740, and was the home of Morris between 1848 and 1865, It is Grade II* listed.
?This is considered avery important building. There was a wing on the side of the building which was demolished in 1900. This project was about putting back a wing, but also conveying something of its new use. It is no longer a domestic house; it has been a gallery for 60 years.??
The redevelopment works in the Gallery have been carried out by Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects only made possible by funding from Waltham Forest Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as well as many notable trusts, foundations, sponsors and Friends of The William Morris Gallery. The restoration of Lloyd Park has been made possible through funding from Waltham Forest Council, HLF and the Big Lottery Fund.