HoughtonBudd Architects

RIBA International 2 Stage Competition

Cheltenham Art Gallery is an embarrassment of riches; large numbers of interesting and varied objects and artefacts are displayed throughout the two existing buildings, and together with the significant Arts and Crafts collection and Emery Walker Library they form an engaging body of work. How these collections and the currently archived items can be curated and then displayed in a meaningful yet exciting way was central to our proposal.

Our response to these varied and complex conditions proposed a new intervention at an urban scale in order to best provide the accommodation required within the brief and to maintain and reinforce the immediate urban grain within which the gallery is situated.

We initially considered how the existing buildings might be used but concluded that in order to best provide the highly specific range of functions and serviced spaces required a wholly new extension to the 1889 library would best serve the needs of the client body and the public who will use the building.

Our submitted proposal was based on an abstract interpretation of the vertical classical elements
that compose the facade of the adjacent 1889 library building. We also studied the regency facades that identify Cheltenham as a means of developing an elevational approach that whilst wholly different in its scale and material, is, in fact contextual in its approach.

A concrete structure was to be clad in timber to reinforce the material quality of the existing buildings and create a new urban presence for the gallerys.


Collage study


Proposal in context


Elevation showing arcade


Interior Studies