The Process Gallery.
Distinctive works are created using X-Ray equipment, housed in a concrete pyramid chamber, by British photographer Nick Veasey, who has had a studio built and completed by Guy Hollaway Architects.
Designed to be an “inquisitive piece of architecture” the Process Gallery, as it is known, stands alone in an open field fringed by woodlands near the village of Lenham in Kent.
A tall X-Ray chamber which is linked to a small gallery by a heavy metal door and a low volume housing unit featuring a workspace are the elements which comprise the photography studio.
By the end of their eventual display from their post-production these X-Ray images that are captured are designed to “expose” Veasey’s artistic process to the general public.
“We decided to put the gallery in the same position and east-west orientation as the former big shed”, said Hollaway, “using robust but contemporary material such as corrugated metal cladding.”
An angled wooden reveal piece articulates the exterior, whilst a camera lens -inspired large picture window combine to define the low, corrugated metal -clad gallery volume, to use an architectural phrase. Skylights help to flood the gallery’s simple plywood interior with light.
Hollaway explains: “the higher the X-ray machine, the larger the object which can be captured,” as description of what the machine can do as it is hoisted either up or down the space, the splay of the X-Ray machine itself informing the gallery’s design, reminiscent of Kentish Oast houses, the tall pyramid X-Ray chamber. Hollaway continues: “In the same way the form of Oast houses was driven by their function, this approach isn’t any different.”
The structure thins out as it rises but at the base had to conform to a 600mm thickness which was a requirement for protection from the gamma rays, all the space’s walls offering sufficient protection; Hollaway architects worked with a specialist X-Ray expert to ensure that health and safety measures were met.
The concrete structure has been lent a glossy sheen in places by the smooth formwork of the pouring method of construction which was completed on-site and poured in two days.
“It has been designed as a cold space without insulation, so like a cathedral it is cool in the summer and cold in the winter,” said the architects.
A radioactive symbol, along with the words “Nick Veasey Studio,” are emblazoned on the concrete exterior and at its peak a small skylight window draws light down into the building.
“Nick Veasey’s work is a function of the result of the X-Ray process, an honest revealing of what is beneath the surface,” said Hollaway. “We wanted this architecture to be equally honest and use a very simple palette, such as polished concrete floors and a ply-clad interior.”
In time, Veasey hopes to transform the studio’s surrounding landscape into a sculpture park but until then the impressive Process Gallery is open to the public.
Words by Elijah (Content Marketer).