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06 June 2005

Osprey Mott MacDonald appointed on major development of Whitechapel Gallery

Osprey Mott MacDonald has been appointed as Project Manager on the £10 million capital development of the Whitechapel Gallery, one of Britain’s most admired and influential galleries.

The Grade II* listed building, located in Tower Hamlets, London, was founded over 100 years ago. Designed by the architect, Charles Harrison Townsend, it was the first public gallery built specifically for modern art and the first to exhibit some of the great names of British 20th Century Arts.

Embarking on its most important development since 1901 the Gallery is to purchase the adjoining library – Passmore Edwards Library - currently owned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which is moving to a brand new facility in Mile End.

Uniting the two contemporary landmark buildings will enable Whitechapel Gallery to greatly expand its exhibition programme to include commissions inspired by the building’s cultural heritage and international collections. The development will also allow access to the extensive Whitechapel archive.

Key elements of the project involve:

- uniting the two landmark buildings internally
- renovating the building, upgrading facades and improving the local environment
- creating three new exhibition spaces
- creating a 3-storey education and research ‘tower’ with studio facilities
- providing disabled access and improved circulation throughout
- creating a street level bar and bookshop

The complexity of the conversion and restoration, the dense inner city location with difficult access and logistic issues and the Gallery’s desire to maximise the use of its facilities and exhibition spaces during the construction programme all combine to present a unique project management challenge to Osprey Mott MacDonald.

The project is scheduled for completion in winter 2007/2008 and due to open in April 2008.

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