It began talks with the gallery about the project in November 2010, following a recommendation from architect Tom Emerson. Work began in February.
Feilden Fowles was briefed to create a more open-plan and engaging public space.
Edmund Fowles, co-founder of Feilden Fowles, says, ‘They wanted to refresh the space. Our initial impression was that it was very veiled from the street at the front, as the offices were against the front windows.
‘We were keen to flip the programme and have more of a street presence.’
The new space incorporates a reading area and ‘social space’, featuring ‘richer, darker’ plywood furniture. Some areas are differentiated from the main space using a ‘slightly dusty lemon’ colour.
Fowles adds, ‘Art spaces have to have a sensitive palette so as not to detract from the work too much. We followed the existing palette, but used new materials.’
It is hoped there will be two further phases of the redesign following the end of the current exhibition in May, potentially adding street-level furniture to the gallery exterior. This stage was unveiled on Tuesday.