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Publicly Accessible Interiors

Gallery transformation showcases historic art

“Beautifully designed display cases delicately showcase the works,” Emma Holt, Judge.

Project: The Courtauld Gallery

Award: Cultural Venues, Silver, 2022

Location: London, UK

Design practice: Nissen Richards Studio

Client: The Courtauld Gallery

The most significant modernisation project in the Courtauld Gallery’s history provides a transformed home for one of the UK's greatest art collections in Grade I-listed Somerset House on the Strand. Cultural-sector specialists Nissen Richards Studio’s approach was to introduce elements that worked with the historical building in a subtle yet contemporary way, using materials that complement and highlight the beauty and character of the building. The new gallery designs showcase the superlative art collection, as well as the classical architecture and scale of the rooms, whilst at the same time ensuring visitors enjoy a sense of intimacy with the artworks.
An artisan process was used to create beautiful, bespoke etched panels that deliver the artwork’s accompanying text in a way that feels seamless with the building and the atmosphere of the rooms.
Computer modelling was used to map visitor flow from street level into the entrance hall and through the thirteen individual gallery spaces.

Design highlights

The new paintwork scheme uses colours created expressly for the project, taking inspiration from the artworks themselves. These range from the domestic-inspired warm colours of the Bloomsbury Room to the lighter pinks and blues of the Blavatnik Fine Rooms, working in each case with the proportions of the galleries, the ceiling height, the nature and colourways of the artworks and the north- or south-facing light.

{{1824802 - The Courtauld Gallery}}

Photo credit: Gareth Gardner

  • LEAD DESIGNERS: Pippa Nissen, Marie-Lise Oulmont
    SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDING: Nissen Richards Studio
    BESPOKE PAINT COLOURS: Developed with Little Greene

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