An eight-gallery cultural science centre, run by King's College London and backed by international scientists intent on inspiring young people, is set to be built in central London after winning £7 million in funding.
Set on a 2,000 square-metre site opposite the towering Shard at London Bridge, the Science Gallery is expected to open in 2015 at the College’s Guy’s Campus, having been allocated £4 million by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and £3 million from the Wellcome Trust.
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It is expected to include exhibitions, a theatre, facilities to unwind in and a courtyard for events and festivals. Admission will be free, and curators are emphasising the importance of engaging visitors aged between 15 and 25.
A neuroscientist, Dr Daniel Glaser, has been announced as the Director of the Science Gallery.
“It is incredibly exciting to be able to share our plans to open the nation’s leading venue for science and art collaboration,” he said, pledging to unite artists, designers, scientists, clinicians and the local community.
“The Gallery will be a live space where scientific themes and ideas will be explored and debated through the lens of culture by contributors and visitors. It will give us a completely new way to engage audiences with science, art and innovation.
“People from every background and discipline can come together to innovate, explore research and ask challenging questions in an accessible and welcoming way.
“We hope that the changing locally-driven programme, which will bring science, technology and health into dialogue with the arts and design, will see visitors return regularly to enjoy the space and the experience.”
One of eight new Science Gallery developments planned in cities worldwide during the next seven years, the space hopes to repeat the success of Science Gallery Dublin, which has been visited by more than 1.3 million people since 2008.
“There is a growing appetite for innovative, science-based cultural experiences,” said Clare Matterson, of the Wellcome Trust, pointing to the popularity of the Dublin site and the Wellcome’s own Collection in London.
“We look forward to supporting this ambitious new gallery at King's College London, which will offer a space to explore the dynamic interface between science, health and the arts.”
Deborah Bull, the former Creative Director of the Royal Opera House and current Director of Cultural Partnerships at the college, will lead the venue alongside Glaser.