The Turner Prize winning artist duo Gilbert & George are planning to open a new museum near their home in Spittalfields, East London. They have put in planning for converting a local house into a non-profit gallery and foundation for contemporary arts. The building on Heneage Street was purchased last year by the artists, who have lived and worked in the area since 1969. The planning application calls for the demolition of a 1970s workshop extension which will be used as an exhibition space. It also covers the total refurbishment of the main building and digging out the basement.
Planning was prepared by Sir Solutions for The Gilbert & George Centre, a registered charity established six years ago The newly converted building will be used for the site for the centre, “a non-profit foundation for contemporary art that operates purely for the public benefit with the aim to promote the education of the public in the arts by exhibiting contemporary art in its exhibition spaces, benefiting both the local community as well as the wider community attracting visitors from other locations”.
It preposes to mount two exhibitions a year, and be open to visitors by appointment from Tuesday to Sunday with public opening hours from 10am to 5pm. Soft openings of new exhibitions, which would be free of charge, would run until 8pm. The number of visitors is estimated at 200 per week, and the gallery would create two full-time jobs and opportunities for freelance or part-time staff.
The planning report states: “The property is a former brewery building from approximately c1830, which has been extended with a steel/concrete frame workshop building around 1970 and is facing an external private courtyard, which can be accessed from Heneage Street.
“The proposed scheme includes the demolition and rebuild of the existing 1970s workshop building as new exhibition space, the creation of a new basement level and a complete refurbishment of the existing main building to meet current building regulations and environmental standards.”
Other planning permission applications in the area has previously included artist Tracey Emin who came up against opposition from her Shoreditch neighbours, after submitting plans to demolish a local landmark building and replace it with a contemporary David Chipperfield designed home and studio structure. Local conservationists expressed outrage after an application to demolish the three-storey historic building in Spitalfields, East London became know. The planning was turned down.
Photo:P C Robinson © artlyst 2016