The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea has had a major new extension added to it. The Grade II listed gallery faced a number of challenges while developing a new extension. Primarily the main challenge was how to incorporate a modern extension with a loved historic building and also being able to create a sensitive link between the two.
The architects on this project faced a tough challenge when tackling this project as it also involved the addition of a new gallery, community and education rooms as well as a lecture theatre and a screening room, conservation studios and collection stores. All of these different requirements needed to be added to the existing neo-classical brick and stone building. The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery was completed in 1909 originally but has faced expansion works that would see a new street level entrance as well as a bigger brighter reception in order to welcome the visitors.
The designers have created an extension which they hope will preserve the symmetry of the original façade. This means that the designers also had to create a sense of separation externally between the extension and the gallery itself. However, the design also had to create the best experience possible for the visitors by internally connecting the two elements and allowing the visitors to move between the original building and the extension.
In total for the extension, 70 sq. m. of glass was used for the project. The outer panes were Pilkington K Glass™ which has a low-emissivity hard coating that would reduce the amount of radiated heat that has been lost from the building which has improved the energy performance of the space. This type of glass was provided by Pilkington United Kingdom. The link created by the low-profile structural glazing connects the two buildings on three levels which makes the extension feel more unified with the original building for the visitors of the Art Gallery.