On April 13th, Science Gallery London hosted a 'ground-breaking' event to mark the start of building works at Boland House in London Bridge.
Housed within a wing of the original Guy’s Hospital, opposite London Bridge Station and neighbour to , the building work will see the refurbishment of the historic hospital quadrangle and create a significant new public space. During the remainder of 2016 the building project will consist of enabling works to create new structural openings to the building. The building fit-out will be completed during the first half of 2017, and landscaping of the Courtyard will take place during spring/summer 2017.
LTS Architects developed concept design proposals as part of a number of successful bids for major grant funding and have since been appointed to develop detailed proposals of the new gallery. As part of the event LTS presented to guests a series of visualisations, illustrated below, of what will look like when it launches in autumn 2017.
The new Science Gallery London will occupy space in Boland House formerly used by the King's College London students' union, and will provide exhibition space, studio and performance spaces, a flexible theatre space, as well as a cafe overlooking and extending onto the courtyard.
In a rather unusual experiment which featured during the event, artist Inés Cámara Leret, a forthcoming Science Gallery London collaborator, invited guests to donate a spit sample in an experiment to create a ‘collective spit crystal’. Despite it nowadays being regarded as vulgar, spitting has traditionally been regarded as a symbolic act to wish a new venture good luck or success. It is hoped that the spit donated at the event will create a giant crystal that can be displayed during Science Gallery London’s next pre-opening season, ‘MOUTHY’, which begins in July this year.
Deborah Bull, assistant principal (culture & engagement), at King's College London who attended the event, said "It was a real honour to be present at the start of building work to create Science Gallery London.” She said "we are creating a new space that will generate unique interactions between King's College London and the communities around it – a free-to-visit cultural venue and attraction that specifically looks at the needs and interests of 15-25 year olds and draws on diverse research and innovative thinking from across the university."