The BOAB art gallery is located in the South of Antwerp, the art desitrict of the city. The gallery occupies the ground floor and the basement of a recently finished four story terrace house. The owner bought the 230 m² space as a casco and commissioned us to create a multifunctional gallery. Besides displaying a wide variety of art forms the space also had to allow for lectures, workshops and sporadically as a 'hotelroom' for artists. Before the fit-out the space was quite dark, as natural light only enters the building through the 4,2 meters facade and three skylights.
We proposed to use the spatial division of the two floors for allocating the functions. The ground floor is a gallery 'pur sang', a blank white space for art to be shown. The basement is more multifunctional. This functional division is translated in the wall finish; crisp white stucco contrasts with cemented grey walls in the basement. An open staircase gives acces to a multifunctional space with a long concrete bench and wooden cabinets. The wooden cabinetry hides and incorporates; storage, technics and a fold-out-bed. The stainless steel kitchen is small but functional. The toilet doubles as a shower. The integration of these 'home' functions allows for artists to reside in the gallery during their show, workshop or lecture.
The penetration of natural light is enhanced by using mirrors and adding glass flooring. The mirrors are formed in the existing round skylights. When the sun hits these round mirrors it creates an intriguing play of circles on the floor and the walls. Aligned with one skylight an opening was made in the floor connecting the basement and the ground floor. The artificial light follows the shape of the skylights. A bended rail circles around the skylights fitted with adjustable spots.
The gallery will be a platform for various art forms; so the interior had to be flexible. The rosewood benches double as presentation volumes. The metal grill wall is easily adaptable. Trays can be added for sculptures, the grills are movable for video art, ... There is a hidden rail system for hanging art.
Design team: Sam Peeters, Elena Grauls
Info about the gallery www.boabartgallery.com