Thursday, 19 January 2012

WMG Rebuilding

The Brangwyn Trustees [of whom I am one] had a site visit to the William Morris Gallery to view progress on redevelopment, which is scheduled for completion in July - not long in building terms, but we could see how it may be done, with over 40 workers busy on site.  Even as the main roof is being replaced and the extension wing to house exhibition space and cafe is still rising [see photo above], on the top floor plastering, floor-laying and toilet plumbing [see below] is underway.  More important than speed is quality and retention of the spirit of the place despite all the interventions over the decades.  Opened up, the spaces of the original Essex villa are extremely attractive notwithstanding the acrows and cabling right now. They feel not just spacious but gracious - hopefully this can be maintained even when fitted out with museum displays and visitor paraphernalia.  The omens look good  and wholly vindicate William Morris's visionary founding of SPAB, to protect and repair old buildings without destroying their souls.

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