6a architects appointed for major new development of MK Gallery in Milton Keynes

MK Gallery announced today the appointment of 6A architects to work on ambitious plans for the expansion of the Gallery on its current site in Milton Keynes.

The new development will enable MK Gallery to make a step-change in scale and ambition for its world class contemporary arts programme. The plans include doubling the current exhibition spaces and providing purpose-built event, community and learning facilities, independent cinema, café and bookshop, to be developed on the current site in the Milton Keynes Theatre District.

6a architects has emerged as one of the leading young architectural practices in the UK. The practice, which was founded by Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald in 2001 after meeting at the Royal College of Art, first came to public attention for its subtle and inventive use of materials and narrative in the transformation of existing buildings into spaces for contemporary art.

Recent projects include the critically acclaimed extension to the South London Gallery (New London Architecture Award 2011 and Civic Trust Award Commendation 2012), Raven Row, a contemporary art gallery in Spitalfields, east London (RIBA Award and nomination for the Stirling Prize), and the new Fashion Galleries in the Octagon Court at the V&A Museum. Current projects include a new building for Churchill College in Cambridge and a photography studio for Juergen Teller.

The practice has won several major architectural competitions and international awards including an RIBA Award and the Schelling Medal for European Architecture 2012 and was nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Award for European Architecture for all three of its recent galleries.

MK Gallery is the only international contemporary visual arts organisation within a 40-mile radius and is now established as a key cultural asset for Milton Keynes. Since its inception in 1999, the Gallery has produced critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions and projects, and is unique in the region in the ambition and scale of its commissioning programme.

The new development will open in 2017, the 50th anniversary the city.

Anthony Spira, Director of MK Gallery, said today:

“Milton Keynes epitomizes the modern. Its association with technological innovation in this country, with such landmark developments as Bletchley Park and the Open University, its energy and pace of growth are inspiring. We hope our plans for the new development will capture that energy and creativity and create a cultural destination worthy of this city for the next generation.”

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