Wellcome Collection, that wondrous den of inquisitively raised eyebrows on Euston Road, will soon stretch out its wings with an investment in new gallery space. The venue, famed for its unique take on medical history and anthropology, will invest £17.5 million in the expansion.
Now five years old, Wellcome Collection has surpassed its own expectations, luring in over 2 million visitors to its regularly changing exhibitions and events. It's now appointed architects Wilkinson Eyre to masterplan the expansion project, which will see 30% more gallery space and a centrepiece spiral staircase.
With limited space around the existing building, the new galleries will be created by rearranging the interior of the building, an act of internal phagacytosis, if you will. At the heart of the development is the gorgeous Wellcome Library reading room, which will be transformed into a more open exhibition space. The scheme will also see a new year-long exhibition space, enlarged study areas, a youth studio, a new restaurant and a new forum for inter-disciplinary projects.
The new-look Wellcome will be ready in the summer of 2014. It will not close during the build, but will find creative ways to display exhibits and host events during the challenges of construction. We'll be mithering the press office for site visits as the project progresses, and will bring you regular updates.
Images copyright Wilkinson Eyre.