As a high-profile and highly anticipated project for Milton Keynes and the wider local community, stakeholder management was a major part of our role as project manager for the project. Strategic partners including Milton Keynes Council and Arts Council England, who both provided significant funding for the project, were regularly appraised of progress during both the design and construction stages.
Regular consultations were held to engage with and involve other local influencers such MK Theatre, CMK Alliance (representing residents and businesses in Milton Keynes) and local artistes and schools. The art content of the public realm areas (City Club) surrounding the building were designed by Gareth Jones, a local artist in collaboration with Nils Norman whose work spans across the disciplines of public art and urban planning.
The completed project saw the 2 existing gallery buildings retained and refurbished to accommodate a new bookshop, entrance and café. A new rectangular building was added to the north-east, providing 2 new double height gallery spaces, an education space, workshop and a multi-purpose auditorium designed to constantly adapt to the gallery’s diverse programmatic ambitions.
MK Gallery has received numerous industry accolades including a RIBA National Award 2021. The judges stated that:
‘This is a challenging project that has been beautifully crafted. A high level of research, interrogation, collaboration and consultation from an enthusiastic team has delivered a building and facility that remains true to the ethos of the original masterplan and aesthetic.’