architect: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
The Wellcome Collection in London transformation has been completed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, designed to accommodate growing visitor numbers and enrich their visiting experience. Working within the confines of the existing building, Wilkinson Eyre has succeeded in creating 40% more exhibition space, along with a new Reading Room, a new youth events space, and a new research area. The transformation has also improved Wellcome Collection’s presence and accessibility on the busy Euston Road. Fulcrum of the intervention, a dynamic new steel staircase introduced between the ground and second floors. The 17.5 metric ton steel structure is sculpted into a flowing, swirling form, enticing the eye and drawing people up through the building. A thematic exhibition gallery has been created on the first floor, replacing administrative offices and a flexible contemporary studio for teenagers has been designed in order to create a unique environment for participatory learning, bringing together elements of common rooms, bedrooms, music studios and laboratories. The Wellcome Library on the second and third floors has been reconfigured to improve circulation and create a directly-accessible public browsing zone and the Reading Room has been transformed by AOC Architects into a space that bridges the gap between Wellcome Collection’s events and exhibitions programme and the world-class Library, archive and object collections. The Research Library on the upper floors has received a completely new entrance and reception desk and on the fifth floor, The Hub becomes an area dedicated to longer term research for groups of academics, artists and other creative minds to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects exploring medicine, health and well-being.