Pallant House Gallery is a remarkable hybrid: one of the country's finest examples of domestic town architecture in the Queen Anne townhouse which dates from 1712, adjoined by an award winning contemporary wing, designed by Long & Kentish architects in association with Colin St John Wilson and opened to the public together as Pallant House Gallery in 2006.
Built in 1712 as a residence for Henry and Elizabeth Peckham, the original Pallant House was the first building of its kind in Chichester and set the standard for future developments. No architect has been linked to the project, but a local stone mason Henry Smart worked on the House and was responsible for creating its unique character. It is built in the Classical revival style, reflected in the symmetry of the façade and the elaborate Corinthian columns flanking the imposing doorway.
The contemporary extension pays tribute to the quality, craftsmanship and outstanding architecture of the original Pallant House, preserving and emphasising the historic house as an architectural entity. The remarkable £8.6million build project, which took nearly three years to complete, seamlessly married the original Queen Anne, grade I listed town-house and the new wing, quadrupling Pallant House Gallery's exhibition space.
Featuring light and open gallery spaces, it was designed by architects Long & Kentish in association with Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson (1922-2007), architect of the British Library. A truly exceptional example of a significant architect designing a gallery to house his own collection, Pallant House Gallery was Wilson's final completed project before his death in June 2007.
Access and sustainability were central to the design, and remain at the heart of the Gallery's ethos, incorporating a state-of-the-art natural lighting system, sustainable geo-thermal heating and cooling system and street-level entrance. The ground floor, which is free to the public at all times, includes facilities such as a learning studio, art reference library, and print room. A landscaped courtyard garden designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole (five-time Chelsea gold medallist), restaurant and bookshop completes the Gallery.
The Gallery has won several architectural and access awards, including an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.