Hauser & Wirth Somerset

The Brief

Hauser & Wirth Somerset in Durslade is the UK’s rural outpost for this leading global art gallery Client, and this was our second project with them.

The brief was to create a unique destination for experiencing art, architecture and the Somerset landscape. The client wanted to transform the site and its existing derelict farm buildings into a world-renowned home for art exhibitions, events, learning activities and artists’ residencies. Two new purpose built gallery wings were added to the cluster of original buildings, which in turn were then renovated to house a library, education space, office and bookshop.

Supporting the commercial viability of the gallery is the Roth Bar and Grill, an art installation in its own right, which is key to the sites frequent public events as well as providing dining capacity.

Client

Hauser & Wirth

Location

Somerset

Architect

Laplace & Co

Size

19,600 ft²

Sector

  • Arts
  • Community

Services

  • Cost Consultancy
  • Project Management
  • Health & Safety (CDM)

The Challenge

Each of the Grade II Listed farm buildings at Durslade had been empty for a number of years and were in complete disrepair. There was also a pressing need to complete the project in time for a planned opening of the gallery. Our approach to these issues was to simplify and de-risk the project by splitting it into 5 separate contracts. This reduced pressure on the programme and enabled phases to overlap and move ahead, for example securing the structural integrity of the farm buildings whilst the project was still awaiting a planning decision. Great emphasis was also placed on keeping the support of the local community and being conscious of minimising disruption to them during the construction work.

The Outcome

With careful restoration and conservation the buildings have been immaculately renovated and re-purposed, more than achieving the original brief.

The project included full delivery of an extensive landscaping package, designed as a collaboration between Piet Oudolf and 2022 Chelsea ‘Best in Show’ winners Urquhart & Hunt. With over 26,000 herbaceous perennials planted in the classic Oudolf-style the gardens provide an ideal backdrop to the programme of outdoor sculpture exhibitions. The gallery was awarded a Civic Trust Award.

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Herbaceous perennials planted
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Original buildings date to
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Number of visitors in the first year
"These tastefully converted farm buildings showcase some of the biggest names in contemporary art. However the art is only half the story. There’s also a stylish restaurant, a lively bar and those gorgeous landscaped grounds. It’s not just a gallery, it’s a Gesamtkunstwerk – a total, integrated work of art that satisfies all the senses."
William Cook
The Spectator

Other Projects We’ve Completed Include

BAFTA

Newport Street Gallery

Southbank Centre Festival Wing