Transforming our home at Somerset House - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Transforming our home at Somerset House

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Courtauld Connects

Transforming our home at Somerset House

The Great Room
New conservation studio
New temporary gallery
New entrance to The Courtauld Gallery

A key part of the project will be a major redevelopment of The Courtauld’s magnificent buildings in the North Block of Somerset House, built by Sir William Chambers in the 1770s.

The Courtauld is working with Stirling Prize-winning architects Witherford Watson Mann to restore its important Grade One listed building. Access to and experience of The Courtauld will be transformed for students and the public.

Phase one of Courtauld Connects will improve The Courtauld Gallery’s visitor experience.

  • A remodelled entrance will enable visitors to access The Courtauld Gallery comfortably and will improve general access to Somerset House
  • New and improved display and interpretation of the permanent collection and a new temporary exhibition space, will enable more works to be shown and better public engagement
  • The Great Room will be reinstated and represented as the culmination of the visitor experience
  • The presentation and interpretation of the collection in the historic Fine Rooms will be improved
  • Newly integrated back of house facilities for storage and art handling and improved spaces for conservation
  • Improved facilities for visitors will offer an experience commensurate with the quality of the collection
  • Purpose built conservation facilities will enhance conservation of the collection and the work of the conservation departments 
  • A new Learning Centre that will increase access for school children, families, community groups and adult learners.

During phase one, parts of the collection will be on display in London and at regional and international venues.  

Phase two of the project will improve facilities and experience for students, staff and visitors. It will:

  • Ensure full access for students, staff and visitors throughout the building
  • Increase and improve facilities and social spaces for students
  • Double the number of working spaces in the Book Library
  • Improve teaching rooms, faculty offices, lecture theatres and staff facilities
  • Provide dedicated spaces for close object study and for student work and exhibitions.

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