Courtauld Institute Galleries

I went on a tour of the newly refurbished Courtauld Institute Galleries with Stephen Witherford of Witherford Watson Mann, architects to the project, which is in two phases – the second phase renovating the Institute still to come.

The building is an odd and complex jigsaw puzzle, as designed by William Chambers a) because it had to accommodate the terrace houses on the Strand and b) because it was designed for three institutions – the Royal Academy, the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries, each of which was separate from one another. It’s an ingenious renovation project, recovering some of the character of the original gallery spaces, adding new galleries where possible, particularly on the top floor, and opening up the basement, which I hadn’t seen on my previous visit, all of it done with intelligent ingenuity.

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