Baltic Flour Mills

  • Location: Gateshead UK
  • Programme: 1994

The design for a new art gallery for Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, was the subject of an architectural competition organised in 1994 by the RIBA. The brief consisted of four main gallery spaces for modern art together with educational facilities. This was to be housed in a converted flour mill on the south bank of the River Tyne. 

From the outset, the heroic scale of the existing building served as an inspiration for the architectural approach. The 2.5m concrete honeycomb grid of 40m high grain silos is removed, with the exception of the sides immediately adjacent to the brick external walls which serve as buttresses. Into this hollow shell a steel frame is inserted, supporting the polished concrete gallery floors. Throughout, the simple elements of metal, glass and timber are contrasted with the raw textures of the existing building, as were the artworks themselves.

Third Prize RIBA Open Competition