Cornerhouse Cinema and Gallery

Originally converted from an Edwardian Department store by Fletcher Priest with Millard Design Partnership in the 1980s, the Corner House is a centre for contemporary visual arts. The complex also includes three cinema screens that show independent films and world cinema. The cinema and the gallery are in two buildings that flank the approach to Oxford Road station. Chipperfield here intervened subtly to provide the cinema with more street presence and to remodel the foyer and auditorium. Internally the existing building was stripped back to its steel structure and lined with an acoustic woodwool slab to deliver a crisp, industrial aesthetic. The foyer as designed housed a coffee bar, which is now out of use. The relationship of single and double height spaces with new apertures was very measured, and can be easily read. Outside a simple curved wall of back-lit structural glass doubles as a beacon and signboard, the quality of the hand placed letters on the light background has a real air of 1950s America. At night the glowing volume instantly draws the eye.