Details were announced today of a £15.5 million new home for The Photographers Gallery, the UK’s national centre for the promotion of photography, to be built on Ramilies Street in Soho and due to open in the summer of 2010.
The new gallery will be designed by internationally acclaimed architects, O’Donnell Tuomey, as their first major UK commission.
With around half a million visitors a year, The Photographers Gallery has outgrown its current facilities at 5 and 8 Great Newport Street, first opened at number 8, the site of a former Lyons Tea Bar, in 1971.
The new development will be located on a prime site in Ramillies Street, in the heart of Soho. Spread over six floors, the development will double the current exhibition space, provide state of the art technology for education, a new on-line resource centre and a street level café and bar, allowing the Gallery to play an expanded role in the cultural development of this vibrant part of London’s West End.
Alongside New York’s International Centre for Photography, Rotterdam’s Nederlands Fotomuseum and La Maison Européene de la Photographie in Paris, The Photographers’ Gallery is one of the world’s leading centres for the promotion of contemporary photography. It opened on 14 January 1971 with The Concerned Photographer, an exhibition curated by Cornell Capa, the American photo curator and younger brother of photographer Robert Capa. The Gallery has introduced the work of many leading photographers during its 36-year history including presenting the first UK solo shows of Juergen Teller, Robert Capa, Sebastião Salgado and Andreas Gursky. The £30,000 Deutsche Börse International Photography Prize is hosted and produced annually by The Photographers Gallery.
Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, said today: “This is a proud moment in our history. We are delighted that we are moving forward with our plans to create a building worthy of London as one of the world’s great centres for photography and which can do justice to the development to the creative medium of our time.”