London Floating Gallery


A concept for an adaptable architecture gallery is developed through analysis of its implementation area. Located in London the gallery is floating along the river Thames. A main focus is to reflect upon its context and create meaningful experiences relevant for the gallery’s visitors.

The whole barge functions as a responsive environment. It has been important to create a dialogue on how people will approach a space that is physical adaptable. To achieve this adaptability overall constrains have been created by the designer. This can be expanded to an overall view on the city and a discourse on the importance of adaptable environments.


For the gallery to achieve adaptability in both a physical as well as a mental way the idea is to create a responsive environment, which will enhance unforeseen experiences. For this cameras map people’s movement along the barge and process the information. This information is gathered throughout the day. In the evening the collected data will be displayed as a glow on the floor where the majority of people have been moving. First it should be interpreted as a continuous reflection upon the occurring flows. To put it a bit more philosophical, if one likes, an image of a continuous reflection upon society. As it should represent a reflection on movement, flows, and society, it makes no point in creating immediate feedback. As a society is a plurality the individual can only achieve something in relation with others. Thus the floor lights most up where most people have moved. Throughout the barge the floor will be able to illuminate.

Through use of sound, it is hoped that another atmosphere is created. Microphones record the amount of noise. This provides information on the amount of artificial light that should be applied within the given area of the gallery. Thus where there is the highest noise level the light is brightest, and the room best lit up. On the contrary if an area is completely quiet this part will be dark. This system is directly responsive, which means that as soon as the noise level rises, immediately the light gets brighter.

It is believed that exchange of experiences among visitors could be achieved, through the abnormal situation the users would be put in while visiting the gallery. Standard norms of keeping the voice low in a gallery would be broken, which would force the visitors to decide how they should behave. Would they be quiet like usually in a gallery, or play around with the responsive environment? It is believed that people are more willing to open up towards new encounters and experiences, when they are put out of their daily context and known environment. Hopefully this can raise a discussion on creation of spaces where an eclectic approach is encouraged, contrary to many single-minded spaces found in our capital driven society.


In the evening, when dark, the translucent patterns function as a display for the outside observer. Where there is no people, no noise, the gallery is dark and thus no illumination occurs through the building skin, which will be dark. On the other hand light will go through the pattern in the skin where there is noise. This creates a display of activity on the skin for the outside observer.

Presumably the most important feature influencing the gallery’s appearance is the adaptability of the exhibition space. This space can be transformed from completely open, to covering almost the whole width of the barge. The space is adaptable through a system of tiles. The width of each tile forms a section that can be adjusted in height of as many tiles put on each other as the sweeping skin allows in that exact area.

The idea is to create a spatial adaptability in the gallery that benefits various functions. The space can be designed in modules in order to achieve a number of small individual rooms for an exhibition, or transformed into one main room where a lecture can be held. It gives the artist possibility to design the exhibition space according to the exhibited art.


~ by tw on October 26, 2009.

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