Bird Street Gallery,
Lichfield

Client

N/A

Shortlisted competition proposal for a gallery which becomes an important urban focus for the historic context of the City of Lichfield opening up significant aspects towards the Cathedral and making an effective contemporary contribution to the townscape. The site is a pivotal site within the city of Lichfield as it signals the transition from the dense architecture of the site to the pavilion quality of Minster House and Cathedral Close. It is a significant event on Minster Pool Walk and adjacent to the Causeway Bridge.

Entrance to the building is from a new square or near Minster Pool Walk. The entrances are connected by an internal street from which staircases rise to serve galleries above or descend to the performance space below. Sliding shutters reveal a flexible performance space at the lower level whilst affording additional temporary seating and giving access to upper tiers of retractable seating. A cloakroom and shop are also accessed from the foyer. The arrangement of the performance space allows total flexibility. Dressing rooms, plant rooms and kitchen are also located at this level. The gallery is top light by north lights and can be divided into three spaces of differing sizes.

Materially, the building reinforces the forms with the use of oak in a rainscreen construction and sculpted and dressed red sandstone. The roof is in seamed zinc and the structurally glazed rooflights imbue the secondary accommodation with a quality of natural light.