Stanley Picker Gallery / Kingston University

The Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, which is part of Art Council England’s National Portfolio, is a public venue dedicated to the research, development, production and presentation of interdisciplinary contemporary arts. Fraser Brown MacKenna was invited by Kingston University to complete the refurbishment of the gallery, which reopened in time for the venue’s 15th Anniversary celebrations.

Our proposal for the refurbishment was both creative and economical. Working with a limited budget, the gallery is now able to operate more successfully. Through minimal design interventions, changes to the exterior have increased its presence in the neighbourhood, and the reorganisation of the internal space has allowed for it to be used more effectively.

A key aspect of the design was to make the venue more welcoming and therefore encourage more people to visit the gallery. This was primarily achieved through the demolition of an external boundary wall, making it more approachable to visitors and passers-by. In addition, the external appearance has been significantly altered to distinguish it from the surrounding residential buildings. The physical access and signage were also improved. Internally, three separate identifiable gallery/ multi-purpose spaces have been established through the subdivision of the existing open plan area. This approach has improved the interior usage as it is better suited to the gallery’s vision, allowing the exhibition curators and management to make future adaptations to the space with more ease.

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