Hamilton MAS

The conversion of a former tattoo studio into the first contemporary art exhibition and studio space in Felixstowe, Suffolk. The main space behind the shopfront is designed with movable workspaces that can be closed up and repositioned, or completely relocated together with a mobile partition to enable the space to be used for gallery events.

The works to the ground floor space included rewiring, new heating, refurbished bathroom and utility area, lighting, new wall linings and construction of furniture completed for a budget of £10K.

The existing building is also proposed to be extended at the rear. The new single and two-storey extensions will accommodate a reconfigured ground floor studio, kitchenette and accessible WC for Hamilton MAS and an enlarged first floor flat ancillary to the gallery to provide accommodate for artist residencies.

The new extensions are principally proposed as three distinct flat roof timber clad forms, the scale and detailed design of which responds to the challenging site conditions in terms of daylight, outlook, form and massing in relation to neighbouring properties. The timber clad extension structures are proposed to be visually distinct from the historic Hamilton Cottage form.

The lattice detail of the cladding has been influenced by the desire for areas of the building facade to become part of the Hamilton MAS gallery by allowing art works to be hung from and displayed on the external elevations. The grid of voids formed by lattice create an arrangement similar to pegboard whereby brackets can be inserted anywhere on the elevations. The timber lattice is continued through to the treatment of the perimeter fencing and screening.

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