Making science accessible for all
Science Gallery London blends science and art to appeal to a new audience both young and old. This is the first gallery of its kind in the UK and LDA Design has worked to make it as accessible as possible, creating new public realm that draws people in and encourages them to linger.
LDA Design has taken a historic Georgian Quadrangle, a car park since the 1960s, and transformed it into an elegant, contemporary new courtyard, which is now open to the public. We consulted closely with Historic England, the Georgian Group and Southwark Council to ensure the new courtyard reflects the authentic memory of the site. The square offers a much-needed breathing space amidst the hustle and bustle of London Bridge.
Our design champions the restoration and re-use of existing materials where possible, with historic York stone, granite setts and kerb stones lifted and reincorporated into the new design, along with historic ironwork. Lighting columns have also been sensitively refurbished and re-used.
Explaining the LDA Design’s approach, James Turner, Principal Consultant, said:
“The historical detailing meant this was a complex, but incredibly rewarding, project to be a part of. Our design considers the surrounding architecture, as well as traditional Georgian principles of symmetry and axial geometry, but it also challenges some of these principles and incorporates some big moves to improve access to the surrounding buildings and to make the square more flexible and resilient to change.”
New elevated terraces are all accessed without the use of steps and there are level thresholds at building entrances for the first time in the Square’s history. Large and inviting new bleachers are made from precast concrete mixed with Portland stone aggregate to match the buildings, and the paving emulates historic Georgian colonnades.
The scheme also included the restoration of Boland House, housed within a wing of the original Guy’s Hospital.