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Feilden Clegg Bradley reveals £5.5m County Durham gallery

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Auckland Castle Trust has unveiled Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios-penned designs for a new gallery of Spanish art in County Durham

The £5.5 million scheme will convert a bank and disused school building in Bishop Auckland into a three-storey gallery, visitor centre and institute. It is part of a wider programme of expansion and investment in the trust’s estate.

As-yet unnamed, the gallery will host a permanent collection with ‘Golden Age’ works by El Greco, Ribera, Velázquez and Zurbaràn, among art from the Medieval period to the late 20th century.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ design incorporates a double-height atrium space to accommodate over-sized works.

Architect Matthew Morrish said the new gallery would bring Auckland Castle’s ‘extraordinary and internationally important’ collection into the town.

‘Our designs accommodate the long-term use and development of the new institute, while remaining sensitive to the history and role of the buildings within the community,’ he said.

‘The existing Backhouse building will be extended to create a new space to accommodate large altar pieces, paintings and sculptures in a gallery sensitive to the scale and preservation of the world-class artworks. 

‘We look forward to completing the project and following its progress as an international destination for the study and display of Spanish art, and its on-going impact on the surrounding community.’

The announcement came as the AJ120 practice posted figures for the year to March 31 showing turnover of £11.6m – the highest level in its 37-year history.

Auckland Castle Trust said the gallery was scheduled to open in 2018.

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