Beds, Herts & Bucks

Reopened £12m MK Gallery captures 'spirit' of new town

MK Gallery Image copyright Iwan Baan
Image caption The tallest exhibition room in MK Gallery is over nine metres (30ft) high

A £12m investment that has doubled the size of a gallery hopes to capture of the original "spirit" of the new town it is built in.

MK Gallery, on Midsummer Boulevard, in Milton Keynes, is reopening after nearly two years of work.

The new building has been created to "reflect the city's original grid" as well as the "geometries" of nearby Campbell Park, the gallery said.

It now features five exhibition galleries, a new auditorium and studio.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The original MK Gallery, next to Milton Keynes Theatre, opened in 1999 and closed in 2017
Image copyright Philip Jeffery/Geograph
Image caption The gallery was under construction throughout 2018

The original gallery was opened in 1999 and has been incorporated into the new version.

Anthony Spira, director of MK Gallery, said it was in keeping with the town, which was born with an Act of Parliament in 1967.

Milton Keynes: The middle-aged new town

"In the spirit that created Milton Keynes, the new MK Gallery, on its 20th anniversary, aims to reinvent the idea of the art centre for our own time," he said.

"Both radical and inviting, serious and playful, it is fully accessible and the kind of building where I hope everyone will feel welcome."

Image copyright Johan Dehlin
Image caption The seating in The Sky Room, a new auditorium, has retractable seats and curtains based on a 1970s colour scheme
Image copyright 6a
Image caption The new entrance features a large red neon heart, the first ever logotype for MK

The gallery will provide spaces for major exhibitions, films, music, performance, family events, workshops and social spaces, it said.

It was paid for by lottery money, Milton Keynes Council, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, along with MK Gallery funds.

Image copyright Jonathan Hordle/PA
Image caption The Lie of the Land exhibition has been curated by MK Gallery Director, Anthony Spira

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