RIBA Stirling shortlist 2012 – The Hepworth, Wakefield
What appears to be a fairly random set of boxes in plan soon reveals its logic inside, with the shop, cafe, education room and offices on the ground floor radiating out from the entrance space. In the first floor galleries the circulation pattern changes subtly from radiating to radial as the promenade takes you through a series of galleries with deep walls
The galleries are daylight through slit rooflights and carefully placed windows which frame views of Hemsley Moor, the Town Hall, the Weir and the Chapel on the Bridge.
The building gives a sense of being made specifically for the work of Hepworth whilst at the same time being very much of Yorkshire, grounded and granite like. An affirming project on every level.
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Client: Wakefield Council
The Hepworth video
Nick Hill of David Chipperfield Architects talks about the desire for the building to appear as a monolithic structure of solidity and mass and the challenges of its waterside location. Simon Wallis from the Hepworth describes the relationship between the dense colour of the building and the area’s industrial past.
The Hepworth gallery in Wakefield is approximately 1.5 miles from Wakefield town centre on the banks of the River Calder in West Yorkshire.