Gallery serves purpose well

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TALK to people who have seen or visited the Hepworth and you will find consensus on the architecture.

The majority hate the outside and love the upstairs rooms. Now while it is possible to get a better surface on the building if you spend much, much more money you cannot spend your way to a better space to show art work.

Your display rooms need natural overhead light and wall space must be at a premium. Function, not look, must dominate the design, and it does. Chipperfield’s aesthetics of the outside of his buildings are sometimes described as ‘severe and unyielding’. These are.

There are also humanist virtues. Pass on the bus or in a car and you will notice a particularly interesting human/architectural feature. People crowd the windows and seem to look out at the view with more enthusiasm than they look inside at the exhibition. Several people have commented on this.

The Chantry Chapel, the weir, the river and the trees and present new outlooks on their locality and this is popular. However it is worth remembering that the sanitised river bank and the tea-cosy building came at a cost.

There is a weir so why not a generator? Flat roofs and space so why not solar panels? When a public building is designed we should be discussing localism and carbon miles as well as aesthetics. The problem of employing an iconic international architect is that you pay for the privilege and ideas like sustainable eco-friendly building are at the best an after thought.


Linden Terrace