The Lightbox Gallery

Marks Barfield Architects, Woking, 2007


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

The Lightbox 

    Download Original

  • The Lightbox    
  • Night view    
  • The timber-clad north facade responds to housing on the other side of the canal    
  • Over 40,000 motorists pass the Lightbox each day    
  • Cladding detail    
  • Cladding detail    
  • The site is bordered by the Basingstoke canal    
  • The site is bordered by the Basingstoke canal    
  • At night, Peter Freeman    
  • Circulation atrium    
  • The southern facade    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Long section    
  • Short section    
  • Exploded axonometric    
  • Concept sketch    
  • Spiral diagram    
  • Circulation diagram    
  • Environmental diagram    

Aluminium-clad art gallery in Woking, squeezed between a canal and busy road

Marks Barfield Architects’ Lightbox Gallery sits in a triangular sliver of land sandwiched between the Basingstoke canal and a 5 -lane highway.

Square aluminium cladding panels step across the buildings façade in a diagonal pattern, further emphasised by the use of five different cladding bands in shades of silver and gold. Softer timber cladding is used away from the roadside and towards the gallery’s garden space.

The gallery’s entrance is located at an intersection of the highway and leads to a top-lit atrium providing principal circulation and orientation. The atrium acts as a buffer zone to the noise of the road and as an extension of the gallery space. At ground floor level the atrium is glazed with dichroic striped glass which provides some shading whilst also creating colourful patterns on the atrium floor.

Adjacent to the gallery building, a south-westerly facing garden has been created in the narrow end of the site orientated to the canal. Noise and pollution from the neighbouring highway is deflected away from the garden by a three metre high gabion wall.


  • Begun: Sep 2005
  • Completed: 2007
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £7M
  • Funding: Woking Borough Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council, other trusts
  • Tender date: Apr 2005
  • Procurement: JCT 1998 with Bill of Quantities and CDP
  • Address: The Lightbox Gallery, Chobham Road, Woking, GU21 4AA, United Kingdom

Professional Team