The gallery at Roche Court was designed by Stephen Marshall. It enables us to show paintings and drawings as well as sculpture and has won many awards including:
Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Lawrence Award
American Institute of Architects Award, Excellence in Design
Royal Fine Art Commission Building of the Year Award, Special Commendation
Salisbury Civic Award
The existing house and Orangery at Roche Court were built in 1804. The house is set in a sloping park surrounded by woods, which are now used as sculpture park and garden. The brief given to the architect was to create a space in which to show sculpture and paintings. The gallery should not dominate, but enhance the existing buildings. The space chosen now joins the house to the Orangery, and was originally large flowerbeds with fig trees.
Stephen Marshall, the architect, created a roof that spans between the two existing buildings but appears to be as thin as paper and enables light to filter down a slot against the back wall. Once the floating roof idea was there, the challenge was to make it as clear as possible by removing all extra lines, materials and details. Hence the glass is formed in the largest possible sheets and is frameless. The intermediate columns that are holding up the building are hidden within the oak doors and pivot on custom ball bearing tracks. All other structure is hidden above translucent glass. The walls, floor and steps are all of a similar tone and colour so that the roof appears to be almost suspended in mid-air.
Following the success of our award-winning gallery, the New Art Centre commissioned Stephen Marshall to design a small house for artists at Roche Court. Situated in a courtyard, it is a place where artists can stay whilst working in the park. The Artists' House is inspired in part by Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, one of the most inspiring small museums in the world. The aim is to provide a contemporary domestic space for the display of smaller works of art.
Jim Ede, founder of Kettle's Yard, recognised the influence that architecture and space has upon human behaviour,
"My thought was that the one thing a human being really needed was a room to live in, and scarcely any human being lived in one, it lived on him".
The building completes the edge of an existing courtyard. The forms of the Artists' House reflect the traditional construction of the existing Roche buildings, but the materials used are similar to the gallery, including frameless glass, oak, Chilmark stone and a smooth natural render. The house is on two levels, with the main living area on the upper floor. This enables the roof volume to be open to the space and allows the creation of a frameless glass skylight.
The Artists' House was completed at the end of 2001 and can be viewed at weekends or by appointment.
To visit Stephen Marshall's website please click here.