14 July Project Update Meeting

Tom Emerson, 6a

Tom Emerson, 6a, with a sample of cladding material at the 14 July Project Update meeting. Photo: MK NEWS

We were delighted to welcome people to our Capital Expansion Project Update meeting yesterday.

Director Anthony Spira introduced the session by outlining the genesis of the expansion project and the discussions with our audiences that have been central to its development.

Tom Emerson expressed his passion for the design history of Milton Keynes and shared examples of 6a’s work, including Raven Row, South London Gallery, and Churchill College Cambridge, with emphasis on their experience in the cultural and educational sectors.

We filmed the illustrated presentation and you can view it on YouTube HERE.

Subjects of interest in the Q&A session included:

  • Visitor access routes to the multi-purpose auditorium (via lift or staircase to the second floor)
  • Quality/comfort of the raked seating in the auditorium (will be the best we can afford)
  • Whether there would be a roof terrace (not in current plans)
  • The reflective qualities of the stainless steel cladding (the finish is folded, fragmenting reflections)
  • How the MK Community Foundation grant will be used to support improved accessibility
  • (Changing Places toilet, lifts accommodating two wheelchairs at a time; height adjustable furniture, wider than statutory requirement doors, exhibition galleries all on ground floor with full level access)
  • Public seating to support longer contemplation of works (furniture options still tbc)
  • Staff offices, deliveries and storage (offices will be located in the Project Space building; deliveries will be moved to the rear of the new extension, sharing existing infrastructure with the Theatre; storage is modest but efficient)
  • Spaces around the gallery (MK Gallery is proposing an exciting scheme to support improvements in Midsummer Boulevard East, underpinned by the “City Club” concept from original plans for Milton Keynes. Ideally MK Gallery would like to see, for example, an artist designed playground adjacent to the new Learning Space, seating and lighting enhancements to Margaret Powell Square, and artworks improving the nearby underpass linking with Campbell Park, helping to develop the cultural quarter)
  • Local parking/transport (MK Gallery would love to see any developments that improve the linkages between, for example MK Rail Station and MK Gallery)