MK Gallery

  • © 6a
  • © 6a
  • © 6a
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © 6a
  • © 6a
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © 6a
  • © 6a
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © Johan Dehlin
  • © 6a
  • © Johan Dehlin

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Highly Commended

Region

South East

Local Authority Area

Milton Keynes

Information about this scheme

The new building for MK Gallery in Milton Keynes is located at the top end of Midsummer Boulevard where the city meets Campbell Park, establishing the centre of a new arts quarter.

A new wing consisting of a simple rectangular form wrapped in corrugated stainless steel recalls the rigorous grid that underpins the city, once a playground for British modernists and the early pioneers of High-Tech. Its polished facade shifts ambiguously between reflection and opacity, while a circular window frames views over the orbital landforms and belvedere of Campbell Park. The city is within the walls and the landscape in the window.

The gridded rectangle houses a simple assembly of new gallery spaces and an education studio below an auditorium. The axial arrangement of galleries, with windows aligned on either end, recalls the layout of the city. City Club, a new public art project led by Gareth Jones and Nils Norman, moves in and around the gallery building, quoting and updating the design history of Milton Keynes. In the 1970s, City Club was a plan for a visionary leisure complex inspired by the mixed-use Real Madrid Club Complex in Spain. In the 21st century, it becomes a sequence of new public spaces spanning art, architecture and design.

The expanded gallery includes a suite of five interlinking galleries, a learning studio, auditorium, café and shop. The landscaping project has enhanced the external environment creating further community social spaces including a garden, playscape and café terrace. Gallery spaces now meet the environmental and security standards required to borrow works from major national and international collections, enabling them to significantly increase the ambition of their programme and bring world class exhibitions to Milton Keynes.

The new MK Gallery has been designed and is programmed for a universal audience following extensive consultation with the gallery’s access steering group and access consultant.

Credits

Architect

6a architects

Client

MK Gallery

Structural Engineer

Momentum

M&E Engineers

Max Fordham

Quantity Surveyor

Gleeds

Project Manager

Jackson Coles

Approved Building Control Inspector

MLM Building Control

Theatre Consultant

Charcoalblue Ltd

Artist

Gareth Jones and Nils Norman

Access Consultant

Withernay Projects

Landscape Architect

JCLA

Main Contractor

B&K Building Services

Acoustic Consultant

Max Fordham

Primary Use Class

Class D1d - Display of Works of Art