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Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The Foundation's artistic and social interests are at the heart of the design. A dramatic intervention to the first floor slab allows natural light from the rooflight above to permeate into the ground floor. Sustainable features include exposed concrete structure to provide thermal mass.

Architect

Theis + Khan

Date

2009

50 Hoxton Square N1 6PB

Sat 10am-5pm.

Old Street

Hoxton

21, 26, 35, 43, 47

  • Access for wheelchair users
  • Toilets available

CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN FOUNDATION The Calouste Gulbenkian arts and education Foundation made the decision to relocate their UK offices from a traditional Georgian terraced building in Regent_s Park to a contemporary office within an existing building in Hoxton Square. The move from cellular offices in Portland Place to an open-plan set-up, totally visible to all of Hoxton Square, is in line with the 21st-century Gulbenkian culture the Foundation wants to promote.The brief for Theis + Khan Architects called for a ground floor with exhibition space and meeting areas, and a first-floor level with open-plan office space for 12 people plus private space for directors.Art is of fundamental importance to the CGF and its installation has been at the forefront of the design at Hoxton.A dramatic intervention was made to the first floor slab. It was cut back to allow natural light from the existing roof light above to permeate into the ground floor. This also created a double-height _art wall_ along the west side of the building, where both conventional and video art installations are accommodated.A combination of spotlighting and recessed fixtures brings lighting up to gallery standard. To visually open the space, the original staircase was moved from the front, near the windows, back towards the centre of the double-height void, facing away from the main entrance.Bespoke timber joinery made of smoked ash veneer provides a sleek storage and services pod along the east side of both the ground and first floor walkways. This, together with Portuguese stone and smoked ash flooring throughout the gallery space, are references to the Foundation_s main offices in Lisbon.