Portable Gallery

Mobile Studio Architects, London, 2011


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Portable Gallery: Lightweight demountable gallery with lightweight components 

Mobile Studio (website)     Download Original

  • Portable Gallery: Lightweight demountable gallery with lightweight components    
  • Interior view: Frameless lightbox display plinth and mirror effect walls with LED lighting    
  • Interior view: Visitors and perception of a much larger space than gallery’s physicality    
  • Portable Gallery at Bloomsbury Festival 2011: Gallery curator and visitors in a public engagement conversation around museum object on lightbox plinth    
  • Interior View: Mirror effect on walls and ceilings    
  • Portable Gallery: Exterior view and entrance    
  • Portable Gallery: Exterior view    
  • Details: Lightweight recycled panel components held by tension cables. No screws or fixings required for assembly    
  • Details: Ribbon cables for lighting and base timber tray for walls    
  • Details: Aluminium door threshold and adjustable bolts to level base tray for various ground height conditions    
  • Interior view: Visitor with museum object    
  • Proposed elevations and sections    
  • Proposed details and assembly    
  • Proposed elevations    
  • Concept sketch: External and internal 3D view    
  • Concept sketches: External and internal 3D view    

New build lightweight demountable Portable Gallery with composite lightweight recycled paper honey-comb panels for UCL Museum's Outreach Programme

Portable Gallery is a lightweight demountable gallery commissioned by UCL Museums & Collections. It is made of a series of modular components which enables easy installation in a host of public realm venues for UCL Museum’s outreach programme. The gallery is designed to display one museum artefact at a time and can accommodate up to three people.

The gallery is made of composite lightweight recycled paper honey-comb panels, which are laminated with a tiled mirror finish on the internal surfaces. The interior creates an illusion much larger than its physical size. The five sided mirror surfaces also allows visitors to see the museum object from all angles within the reflection of the gallery walls. The object in turn is multiplied infinitely within the space.

Set within the grid of the mirror tiles are LED lights which provide ambient lighting whilst allowing visitors to get ‘lost and immersed’ in the experience of viewing the museum object. The gallery lighting is powered by a 3-pin plug into mains power and also has its own rechargeable battery for more remote locations.

et within the context of the University’s budget constraints, Mobile Studio were resourceful to obtain material sponsorship from Dufaylite which ensured the success of the project without compromising the material specification and thus final outcome.

he gallery made its first appearance at the Bloomsbury Festival 2011. It will later reappear at other venues (eg. local schools, libraries, Universities, etc.) throughout 2011/12. Please follow UCL Museums on Twitter and Facebook.


  • Begun: Aug 2011
  • Completed: Oct 2011
  • Floor area: 5m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £6,000
  • Funding: Special thanks for material sponsor: Dufaylite Developments Ltd
  • Procurement: Bespoke Letter Contract
  • Address: Various locations, London, United Kingdom