The museum, which is the former home of the internationally acclaimed Estonian Sculptor Dora Gordine (1895 – 1991), holds the major collection of her bronzes, paintings and drawings, and a superb collection of Russian Imperial Art, gathered by her husband, the Hon. Richard Hare. The two studios, gallery and top floor apartment were all designed by Gordine herself in 1935/6. Dorich House opened as a museum in 2004.
The unusual building, created as a private house, cannot easily be adapted for use to provide high quality, modern facilities for visitors. FBMArchitects were appointed to develop design proposals to create a new entrance and visitor facilities for the museum, in a new pavilion, linked to the existing house. The new space provides retail and interpretation space, and an enlarged exhibition gallery.
The new building lies to the rear of the house, set within the mature landscaped garden and the design process has involved considerable negotiation with the planning authority.