Unused artworks are often hidden away from public view in basement storage spaces. The Layered Gallery in London’s Fitzrovia district has found an alternative solution. With the subtle extension of an 18th century Georgian townhouse, Gianni Botsford Architects brings to light the archived artworks of a private collector, making their storage a work of art unto itself. The aim of the project, which took more than five years to complete, was the creation of a closed, garden-like courtyard structure that is attached to the back side of the existing architecture.

Gianni Botsford designed the annex as a filigree monochrome structure that underscores the relationship between interior and exterior spaces, and which creates a layered effect through a sequence of frames. The outer frame is a single structural element made from naturally weathering Corten steel, supported by just two load-bearing steel posts measuring 120 mm x 12 mm in thickness. A second layer behind this functions as a glazed window front with slender frame profiles made from the same material. The layering effect continues into the interior space, manifested, for instance, in the form of dark red blinds that protect the artworks from excessive sunlight, as well as the sliding, rail-mounted Corten mesh panels, which are used for viewing and sorting the collection in the space that measures a mere 1.5 metres deep. (Eva Steidl)