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Findlay wins prize York gallery refurb

Ushida Findlay has seen off an impressive shortlist, including Rick Mather Architects, MUMA and Gareth Hoskins Architects to win the prize project to refurbish York Art Gallery.

Working with Simpson & Brown, Kathryn Findlay’s Camden-based practice also beat Page\Park and Harrogate’s Gelder Harvey Architects to land the ambitious £6 million commission for the York Museum Trust.

The scheme will open up a large, naturally lit, secret gallery on the first floor of the Grade II-listed 1860s building and create a new pedestrian route from York Minster through to gardens at the rear of the gallery, which, said Findlay, ‘have been locked off for many years’.

Findlay added: ‘Working in the city of York, we are inspired by the serendipitous detailing and haphazard nature of the existing building materials. It is a very heartening opportunity for us all.’

The practice has now been asked to draw up detailed, ‘financially realistic’ proposals, before the trust approaches funding bodies.

It has been an impressive 12 months for Findlay, who relaunched her practice in 2009. The studio was appointed to work on the architectural elements of the 115m-high Orbit Olympic landmark sculpture, including public access, viewing platform details and landscaping elements, this time last year.

In April the practice submitted plans for a temporary red and yellow tensile-fabric structure to hang from the Shell Centre roof on London’s South Bank. The scheme, which remains subject to future change and technical verification, is part of a bid to transform the 1960s complex’s ground-floor area into a performance space and market for three years, prior to its wider redevelopment.

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