Witherford Watson Mann has unveiled its proposals for the Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House in London
The 2013 Stirling Prize-winning practice’s proposals feature additional space to display the art institute’s growing collection, a temporary exhibition space, the restoration of the Great Room, and a remodelled entrance.
The practice also plans improved visitor facilities, a learning centre for schoolchildren and new back-of-house spaces for storage and art handling.
The Courtauld has sat within the Strand block of the Grade I-listed Somerset House for the last 25 years and, according to a statement from the architect, has suffered from the constraint of original subdivisions, a gallery circuit that terminates with a dead end and 42 level changes over its seven floors.
Witherford Watson Mann’s proposal responds to the Courtauld Connects initiative – a project that aims to connect the Courtauld with different audiences, and further enhance its diverse academic and public programmes.
Four of the building’s large rooms, which have been subdivided and altered, will be reinstated to their original scale while the Great Room – the oldest surviving space for public exhibitions in London – will be restored.
Witherford Watson Mann director Stephen Witherford said: ‘The goal for Courtauld Connects is not simply to enhance the experience for a wide range of current users, but equally importantly to attract new users through a consistently excellent and accessible experience.’
The Courtauld Institute of Arts by Witherford Watson Mann