David Chipperfield Architects’ much-anticipated Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield is to open to the public on Saturday (21 May)
The £35 million competition-winning project, selected ahead of designs by architectural stars such as Zaha Hadid and Kengo Kuma in 2003, was originally due to complete in 2008.
Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said: ‘This is a moment to savour for so many people who have worked together over the last decade to see the dream of the Hepworth Wakefield realised. We are proud to present the work of Barbara Hepworth, a daughter of this city, in this superbly designed gallery and to develop an international centre for the visual arts, which will attract artists and visitors from all over the world.’
Named after Barbara Hepworth, who was born in Wakefield in 1903 and lived there with her family until the age of 18, with 5,000 square metres of gallery space, The Hepworth Wakefield is the largest purpose-built art gallery to open in Britain since the Hayward on London’s Southbank in 1968, and provides a permanent public legacy for the artist in her home city.
he gallery site has been developed at a cost of £35 million as part of the £100 million regeneration of Waterfront Wakefield. It includes the restoration of former mill and warehouse buildings, the development of new residential, office and leisure facilities, and outdoor landscaping with a new pedestrian bridge. The gallery is funded by founding partners Wakefield Council and The Hepworth Estate; major funders Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund with additional funding from European Regional Development Fund, Homes and Communities Agency and Yorkshire Forward.
The highlight of The Hepworth Wakefield’s permanent collection is a group of more than forty works given by her family that provides a unique insight into Barbara Hepworth’s working methods and creativity. The Hepworth Family Gift, donated through a special scheme facilitated by the Art Fund, comprises a unique collection of prototypes and models in plaster, aluminium and wood, from which casts were made in bronze or aluminium at the foundry. The majority are original plasters on which Hepworth worked with her own hands. Shown alongside the plasters will be tools and materials from Hepworth’s studio. The installation, spread over two dedicated gallery spaces, includes the full-size prototype made by Hepworth of perhaps one of her best- known sculptures, Winged Figure, commissioned for the John Lewis Partnership building in Oxford Street London and installed in 1963.
Previous story (AJ 20.11.09)
AJ Exclusive: Latest pictures of David Chipperfield’s Hepworth Gallery
These are the latest shots of David Chipperfield Architects’ much-anticipated Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield
The £30 million competition-winning project, selected ahead of designs by architectural stars such as Zaha Hadid and Kengo Kuma in 2003, was due to be completed last year. However, after initially being turned down for lottery funding, the 5,050m2-scheme stalled and is not expected to open its doors until spring 2011.
Backed by Wakefield council, the museum overlooking the River Calder will house, among other artworks, sculptures by Barbara Hepworth who was born in Wakefield.