Art Gallery, Walsall

Caruso St John Architects 

Located some 200 kilometers away from London, the town of Walsall seems dominated by the typical red brick architecture of the leather manufacturing industry that once made this part of England famous. In the featureless context of its pedestrian zone, the tower that now houses the Garman Ryan art collection endeavors to be the focus of an ambitious plan for urban regeneration. Its cubic envelope of greenish terracotta scales encloses an entire assemblage of individualized spaces varying in proportion. The changing format of the windows, whose frames jut out from the facade like paintings hung on a wall, allows for visitors on the outside to imagine the spatial complexity of the interior. It is defined by the prefabricated ribs of the ceilings and the strips of fir wood that clad the concrete surfaces here and there...