Feb 2012 Lecture by David Chipperfield Architects

A packed house greeted Rik Nys, Director of David Chipperfield Architects, for his lecture Designing Museums at the Arnolfini Gallery on February 2. He used two completed museums in Germany to discuss light and the use of the external environment, with two British projects from 2011: the Hepworth Museum in Wakefield and Margate’s Turner Contemporary Gallery.
Nys focussed on the critical importance of using these two instruments to bring to life the internal gallery spaces and their curated exhibits for the visitor. He drew upon Italian Renaissance artists who deployed light to heighten the impact of their subject matter, while in parallel a desire to collect and exhibit artifacts for private meditation was beginning to take hold. A host of phrases were pepperpotted into Rik’s exposition, “apertures, natural sources, elements of light & shade, art and space hand in hand”, using dramatic images of the Campo Santo Cemetery in Pisa to underline founding principles of the Chipperfield approach to museum design.
It was a particular pleasure to see so many students taking advantage of the free entry offered by the Bristol Architecture Centre and the Gane Trust in collaboration with the Design and Industries Association.
David Chipperfield Architects have won both the RIBA’s Gold Medal and Mies van der Rohe prize: in 2009 they were given the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany for the remarkable ‘New Museum’ on Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Berlin.

Picture: New Museum, Museum Island, Berlin

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