New extension to the Grade I listed birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, providing new gallery space and a visitor centre.

Gainsborough’s House, the listed birthplace of English artist Thomas Gainsborough, has served as a museum and gallery since the middle of the 20th century.

Eckersley O'Callaghan is developing a cost-effective structural scheme for the design of a new annex, which will sit alongside the 16th century building and revitalize the gallery, while accommodating complex site access and several design constraints.

In addition to careful repairs to the existing historic structure, the extra gallery space will provide an exciting new visitor centre. The new building will comprise one larger gallery space and several smaller gallery rooms, with supplementary office and storage areas, and views of the historic building from the upper levels.

We provided three separate full-building design options for costing at conceptual stages, each using different materialities for the building superstructure. These options were evaluated against sustainability, architectural merit, exposed aesthetics and cost benefit to the overall scheme.

One of the main challenges arises from a large neighbouring silk factory. The silk loom machinery emanates a significant vibration throughout the surrounding grounds and buildings. Several foundation approaches were reviewed in coordination with the acoustic consultant. We were able to achieve a design which was efficient and satisfactorily capable of removing the risk of vibrations propagating through the building foundations.

Location
Sudbury, UK

Client
Gainsbourgh's House

Architect
ZMMA