Hepworth Wakefield

20 May 2011

Holding a core collection of over 40 works by arguably one of the UK's greatest 20th century artists, tomorrow sees the grand opening of 2007 Stirling Prize winner David Chipperfield's Hepworth Wakefield – at over 5,000 sq.m, the largest purpose-built gallery to be built in the country for 50 years.  

The £35M Gallery, was built by Laing O Rourke on the banks of Yorkshire's river Calder . It forms the centrepiece to a £100M regeneration of Wakefield's waterfront. The gallery has been  funded by the Arts Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Homes and Communities Agency, Yorkshire Forward and the European regional Development Fund, in the hope of attracting over £350M of inward investment to the city. 

The Hepworth Wakefield (c) Iwan Baan

The Hepworth Wakefield (c) Iwan Baan

The form of the building comprises ten intersecting trapezoidal pre-cast concrete volumes, together forming ten gallery spaces, an auditorium, archive cafe and shop, all clad with a load-bearing facade of pigmented in-situ cast concrete. The roof completes the unified look of the building, treated with a grey concrete application to complete the monolithic form. Constructed on a promontory of the river, the new gallery was designed to stand partly in the water facing a nearby weir and act as a flood defence, with the self-compacting concrete perimeter walls thick and strongly reinforced. 

The Hepworth Wakefield (c) Iwan Baan

The Hepworth Wakefield (c) Peter Macdiarmid,Getty

The project was procured using the JCT 2005 standard form of contract, with project management and cost consultancy services carried out by Turner and Townsend. The structural and services engineering was by Ramboll UK Ltd, and the landscaping for the outdoor terraces and gardens was designed by Edinburgh-based practice Gross.Max.

Turner & Townsend director, Michael Lumb said of the project from their Leeds office, “The Hepworth Wakefield is a world-class gallery and we are proud to have contributed to the successful delivery of this magnificent building.The gallery is a huge asset to Wakefield and I am confident that it will draw thousands of visitors and significant investment to the city and wider region”.

The Hepworth Wakefield (c) Iwan Baan

The Hepworth Wakefield (c) Peter Macdiarmid,Getty


The CDM Co-ordination on the project was undertaken by Aedas CDM Project Safety Ltd.

Richard Pickles, 27 May 2011

What a load of b*******. This is probably the last thing that Wakefield needed.
How about rebuilding the Skillcentre, to give the people something that they can use to help them into employment. No! they bulldozed the last one to build "yuppie" flats. Same as they have converted most of the waterfront... Wakefield is NOT Leeds. Our waterfront is different. And I suspect that Leeds is finding it hard to let properties on their waterfront too...

Bill, 16 July 2011

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