Whitechapel picks Holmes Wood

The Whitechapel Gallery in London has this week appointed Holmes Wood to design an internal and external sign scheme, as part of its £10m expansion.

The consultancy won the business after a six-way credentials pitch, with the brief to design a scheme to bring the two buildings of the gallery together and help visitors navigate the facilities.

In addition, it will advertise and promote the facilities and activities of the gallery and be implemented to coincide with the gallery’s reopening in 2008.

Kirsty Morrison, project director at Holmes Wood, says, ‘Our work will reflect the contemporary nature of the gallery as well as working with the brand and the new and existing architecture. As it was a credentials pitch we can only assume that it was the strength and relevance of our previous project that won us the business.’

Belgian architect Robbrecht and Daem is designing the £10m Whitechapel Gallery redevelopment; it won the work in November 2003.

The revamp will expand the gallery into the former Public Library site, seeing the space almost double and provide access for the first time to the 100-year-old archive, which documents the history of the building.

According to Rachel Mapplebeck, marketing manager at the gallery, the external brief for Holmes Wood is challenging because of the two buildings’ unique and very different architectural styles.

In an attempt to finance the project, the gallery has been involved in a capital fundraising programme. It has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the Foyle Foundation.

Spin created the visual identity for the gallery, which features on the building, letterheads, stickers, posters, compliment slips and magazines. The consultancy was appointed in 2002.

Whitechapel Gallery

• Whitechapel Gallery was founded in 1901 to ‘bring great art to the people of East London’
• The gallery is internationally known for its exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and its education and public events programmes
• For the first time in its 100-year history, the gallery is entering a £10m expansion
• Expansion to be designed by Belgian architect Robbrecht and Daem, which will see the gallery double in size
• In addition, the scheme aims to triple capacity for local schools and communities and provide access to the 100-year-old archive for the first time

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