Refurbishment of the historic McManus Galleries, built by George Gilbert Scott in 1867 to create a new south-facing entrance along with reworked interior spaces and new staircase
The interior of the Grade I-listed McManus Galleries has been remade; partitions accumulated since it was first built in 1867 have been removed and a new staircase installed to improve circulation.
The aim was to increase the permeability of the existing gallery by opening up the south face and creating a route through to the north half of Albert Square, thus helping to make the interior an ‘extension of the room-space of the city’. To realise this, a freestanding stairwell – a concrete shell with a lift at its core – replaces the old fire escape, creating an angled corridor that spirals through the space.
The new stairwell is contained within a vesica-shaped concrete shell, echoing the gothic-classical conversation between the McManus Galleries and the High School of Dundee. And while the treads of Scott's stair are cantilevered from its external wall, here they hang from the inner concrete shell. Likewise, the steel balustrades hang down, while on Scott's they rise up.
- Begun: Jul 2006
- Completed: Jul 2009
- Floor area: 4,810m2
- Sector: Arts and culture
- Total cost: £9.5M
- Funding: Dundee City Council, The National Lottery, European Union, Historic Scotland, Dundee Art Galleries and Museum Association, Scottish Enterprise Tayside and by public donation.
- Tender date: 2006
- Procurement: Traditional SBCC
- Address: The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee, DD1 1DA, United Kingdom