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Pringle Richards Sharratt's William Morris Gallery named museum of the year

Tom Ravenscroft, Architect's Journal

Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects’ £3.7m refurbishment of the William Morris Gallery has been named Art Fund Museum of the Year

The revamp and extension of William Morris’ childhood home in Walthamstow has now picked up two major gongs, having landed the Museums & Heritage Award for Best Permanent Exhibition last month.

The scheme is part of a wider £10 million revamp of the gallery, gardens and surrounding Lloyd Park.

Pringle Richards Sharratt and their exhibition design company GuM Studio carried out both the refurbishment of the Grade II* listed building along with the new gallery design. Internally three new galleries have been created, along with a library, 118m² object store and a research & education centre with lift access created to all floors.

An extension ‘inspired by Georgian & Victorian Orangery precedents’ contains a 60m² gallery for temporary exhibitions as well as a tearoom with windows incorporating a Morris ‘Thistle’ frit pattern and a balcony that overlooks the gardens.

The chairman of the Art Fund judges, Stephen Deuchar said: ‘The refurbished gallery was setting the highest standards of curatorship. The collections are not only important but they are very beautifully presented, in terms of the physical fabric of the showcases and also the interpretation – the labels are erudite and accessible. 

‘There is a great curatorial coherence to the collections and that comes across in every square foot of the museum. The architectural transformation of a fine but tricky Georgian building had been beautifully done.’

© The Architect's Journal