The Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, London, has quickly contributed to London’s skyline with its unique saw-toothed roof on one of the two new buildings flanking three restored industrial buildings from the Victorian era.
And, having won the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize as “the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year”, it is also proudly taking its place as part of the city’s rich architectural offering.
Architects Caruso St John designed the free public gallery that houses client and artist Damien Hirst’s private collection.
While the interior of the five buildings forms a “continuous and coherent sequence of light-filled gallery space”, they keep their distinct characters on the outside, the jury found. “This highly accomplished and expertly detailed art gallery is a bold and confident contribution to the best of UK architecture. Caruso St John’s approach to conservation is irreverent yet sensitive and achieves a clever solution that expresses a poetic juxtaposition of old and new,” said the jury in their citation.
Architect Peter St John, who accepted the prize on behalf of his firm, said the opportunity to work with a client with such a strong personal vision of the quality of the end product, including a public element. “We see the building as a palace for direct, intimate and luxurious encounters with contemporary art, and we are very pleased that this award will bring more people to see this extraordinary collection.”
Damien Hirst said of the gallery “[it] has realized my ambition to create an unobtrusive and beautiful series of buildings that work perfectly as a space to exhibit great art. I wanted to stay true to the history and roots of the building and Caruso St John understood that from the start.”
The winner of the People’s Choice Award was the Outhouse Gloucestershire by Loyn & Co Architects. The other firms in the running were Herzog & de Meuron, Michael Laird Architects + Reiach and Hall Architects, dRMM Architects and WilkinsonEyre.