Posted: 05/11/19 by Northampton Museum & Art Gallery
The expansion of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery reached a major construction milestone today, when the final panels of roof glazing were craned into the link atrium extension, making the building watertight.
The glazed extension is the most significant new feature of the building, standing nine metres at its highest point, and linking the existing museum space to the new temporary exhibitions gallery, Shoe Gallery and The Studio schools and activity space.
The atrium creates large communal space, which includes a café and a south-facing outdoor terrace, overlooking the museum’s courtyard.
The new Shoe Gallery is housed on the lower floor of the extension in a new gallery space, showcasing Northampton’s internationally renowned shoe collection.
Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “So much progress has been made since our building contractors Wildgoose Construction Limited began work almost a year ago, and now the building is watertight, we can begin the exciting work of creating our new galleries.
“The atrium will be a brilliant space for people to meet and relax, whilst enjoying everything the museum has to offer, and we’re delighted to reach this important milestone.
“The museum is an integral part of the town’s expanding cultural quarter, and a major visitor attraction, presenting Northampton’s rich history and showcasing our wonderful shoe collection.”
GSSArchitecture are the architects, lead consultants and principal designers for the expansion project.
Tom Jagger of GSSArchitecture said: “This is an exciting day for the project as it signifies the completion of the connection between new and old.
“GSS Architecture has worked on this project since 2016, when we collaborated with the Council to develop conceptual design options to expand the museum into the adjacent, vacant buildings.
“A clear outcome of this early design was that the extension is a crucial strategic addition, which connects the existing buildings.
“Once completed, the project will be a magnet for the public and a key addition to Northampton’s developing cultural quarter, driving the regeneration of the town centre.”
Set to open in spring 2020, the museum will also feature a selling gallery with a focus on local artists and makers, a dedicated schools and activity space, a central hall major events space and a refurbished art gallery.