Archiboo’s six must-see openings in 2019

14 December, 2018

David Adjaye – Design Museum

David Adjaye’s first show at the Design Museum nine years ago was a heartfelt, low-key show from someone on the cusp of international fame – he had just won the National Museum of African American History and Culture competition.

David Adjaye: Making Memory opening in February is a very different affair. Seven of the architect’s built and un-built ‘monuments’ will present Adjaye as a storyteller whose “new architectural narrative” is winning clients around the world.

The projects on display include the recently revised Holocaust Memorial, the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO) planned for a site  on the Isle of Portland, Dorset and a new cathedral in Ghana’s capital, Accra, seen by its supporters as an important statement of national ambition (see image above).

Whatever one’s feelings  about the Holocaust Memorial – accused of ruining one of central London’s most cherished small public parks-  architecture’s rewriting of history through monuments is a subject that continues to fascinate.

David Adjaye: Making Memory, February 2-May, 5

Milton Keynes Gallery – 6a

Will 2019 be the year that Milton Keynes finally becomes a cultural destination?

Although the city’s 50th anniversary was in 2017, next March sees the opening of 6a’s revamp of Milton Keynes Art Gallery  doubling its size and the architect’s most important public commission to date. Working in collaboration with artists Gareth Jones and Nils Norman, 6a has designed five new double height galleries, the ‘Sky Room’ –  a 300-seat auditorium, a community studio, café and shop.

The new entrance (see image above) revives the gallery’s original ‘sandstone and terracotta’ façade of 1999 and incorporates some of the city’s original signage such as a red neon heart.

It opens with an ambitious show charting how different types of ‘leisure’ activities, from gardening to raves, have impacted the British landscape. Curated by MK Gallery Director, Anthony Spira, with Sam Jacob, Claire Louise Staunton, Fay Blanchard, Tom Emerson, Gareth Jones and Niall Hobhouse, Lie of the Land  features work by 85 artists, including Gainsborough, Turner and Capability Brown, Yinka Shonibare, Jeremy Deller and Bridget Riley.

MK Gallery opens on March 16th

The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Feilden Fowles

Also opening in March is the Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s new £3.6million visitor centre designed by Feilden Fowles. – a departure for the gallery which to date has used FCBStudios for almost all its buildings on site.

Constructed from layered pigmented concrete,  the building is defined by a concrete saw-tooth roof whose low profile forms a sheltered, sunken terrace with views across the wonderful park. The new gallery will showcase a changing programme of temporary exhibitions, opening with an interactive project by the Indian artists Thukral and Tagra.

The Weston opens on March 30th

Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing

Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Soane’s country home in Ealing, re-opens in March following a three-year, £12 million conservation and restoration project led by Jestico + Whiles and Julian Harrap Architects.

With its stripped classical detail, canopy domed ceilings, decorative paint schemes and inventive use of space and light, Pitzhanger features many architectural elements that Soane adapted for his later buildings, including Dulwich Picture Gallery and Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Anish Kapoor ‘s sculptures will launch the gallery’s exhibitions programme.


Illuminated River – Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

From next summer, four bridges – London Bridge, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges – will be ‘illuminated’ by artist Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Almost entirely privately funded, it will be one of the world’s largest public art installations when completed – that’s when all 15 central London bridges from Albert Bridge in east London to Tower bridge in the City are lit up. Critics worry that the Thames doesn’t need ‘unifying’ and that too much light on the river will be a mistake, but Villareal  told the Guardian “it’s not a rock show…” – he just wants to “honour the bridges for what they are”.

Fotografiska, Whitechapel – Guise

Those who know Fotografiska in Stockholm, the photography museum that’s open until 1pm at the weekends and has an award-winning restaurant, are eagerly awaiting its arrival in London next summer.

Designed by Stockholm-based architect Guise, it will be the UK’s largest dedicated photography gallery and includes two restaurants, a café and a bar. The museum will occupy a new pavilion and the lower ground levels of White Chapel in Whitechapel High Street, remodelled by Fletcher Priest in 2017.