A Storehouse with Transparency: Layered Gallery in London
Architecture: Gianni Botsford Architects
Location: London (GB)
The project took more than five years to achieve its aim of erecting a closed, garden-like structure as an inner courtyard on the back of the existing architecture. Gianni Botsford designed the extension as a delicate, monochrome framework that emphasizes the relationship between interior and exterior space. As a sequence of frames, it creates the impression of layering.
The outer framework, with just two supporting steel profiles, is the only structural element; it is made of naturally weathering Corten steel. The layer directly below this is a window front with narrow frame profiles of the same material. The layering motif is continued through to the inside with another layer of red-brown blinds and Corten grid panels on tracks that aid in the viewing and sorting of the collection.
In more ways than one, the Layered Gallery dissolves hierarchies and conventional classification principles. The collection can express itself, yet it does not seem staged behind its façade of seemingly loosely connected frames. Botsford himself sees the image of a tree in this, one whose branched structure grows geometrically but organically towards the sky, visually encompassing the brick walls of the surrounding yards.