the Keystone

as presented in my Tech Thesis


The Keystone.

Amid the dense urbanism of Walsall the New Art Gallery can simultaneously be a prominent addition to the city and a humble existence within its context. This notion is paralleled internally where sombre corners and humble home-like materials are conjoined with an impressive seven-meter high foyer. This space was the interpretation to the brief demands that ‘first impressions matter’ and, ideally, this objective was achieved not only visually but also practically since the gallery flows gracefully from ground floor to the top floor.

The structural built-up is simple but sensible in its character. Elegant connections have been achieved where tectonics are precisely informing the internal geometry, which at first glance feels rather delicate and fragile; if you consider that a six meter-high gallery lies exactly above a single concrete joist. That joist is where this research is focusing upon, in other words the keystone that if actually removed the whole building will ultimately collapse.

written Mario Soustiel