Press Release: Contemporary Art Society moves into new home designed by Carmody Groarke

26 September 2012 By
Photo: Joe Plommer, 2012

August 2012


The Contemporary Art Society is delighted to announce that it has appointed award-winning architects Carmody Groarke to design its new home in Clerkenwell, London which will open in October 2012.  In addition to accommodating its offices, the newly designed premises will provide the first publicly accessible platform in London for the Contemporary Art Society in its one hundred year history.  This marks a significant new development for the charity, which marked its centenary in 2010, providing a social and working environment for the organisation’s diverse networks and stakeholders, and a platform for greater visibility and engagement in the organisation’s mission to develop public collections of contemporary art in the UK.  The new facility will include spaces for hosting public events, seminars and displays of the works gifted – historically and currently – by the charity to museums across the UK.  The Society is also working to develop an archive of the thousands of works donated by the organisation over the past 100 years for the new building, along with a study centre and research facility focused on collection development for curators, collectors, academics and arts professionals.


Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society said: `We are delighted to be working with Carmody Groarke as we enter this exciting new phase in our history.  Carmody Groarke have attracted critical acclaim for their conceptual and pioneering approach to design and are for us, the ideal collaborators with whom we can realise an innovative and inviting new home for our diverse audiences nationally and internationally.’


Carmody Groarke said: `The Contemporary Art Society is a unique organisation with an extraordinary history and we are delighted to be working with them on the realisation of their first ever home, which will provide the opportunity to showcase the work of the organisation and provide a hub for artists, curators, collectors and arts professionals interested in collecting and collections.’



Notes to Editors


Contemporary Art Society


Founded in 1910, the Contemporary Art Society exists to support and develop public collections of contemporary art in the UK.  It does so by raising the funds to purchase and commission new works of contemporary art for a national network of public collections, which subscribe as Member Museums, and by soliciting gifts of works to these collections which have audiences of millions.  For 100 years, it has played a unique and largely solitary role in the formation of public collections of contemporary art in this country, donating more than 8,000 works where they are enjoyed by audiences everywhere. The Contemporary Art Society has a history of placing important works by most of the most significant artists of the twentieth century in national and regional public galleries in the UK for the first time – from Picasso to Hirst – continuing today with recent gifts of works for example, by current Turner Prize nominees Luke Fowler and Elizabeth Price (see `Recent Gifts Currently Showing’ below).


The Contemporary Art Society is a national membership organisation that brings together individuals, institutions and organisations, including contemporary art enthusiasts and collectors, curators and artists, commercial gallerists and a UK-wide network of public collections in regional museums and art galleries.


All proceeds raised through our diverse activities are used to purchase new works of art for our Member Museums and Galleries.


Carmody Groarke


Carmody Groarke is an award-winning London based architectural studio, established in 2006 by Kevin Carmody and Andy Groarke. They have already gained a strong reputation for working in the arts and cultural sectors. Completed projects include: the permanent memorial to the 7 July 2005 London terrorist bombings; the Tsunami Memorial at the Natural History Museum; Studio East Dining, a temporary restaurant overlooking the 2012 London Olympic site; the Architecture Foundation Headquarters in London; and exhibition designs in Museums and Galleries throughout the UK. Current projects include: the Windermere Steamboat Museum in the Lake District; new permanent galleries at the Royal Institute of British Architects at their Portland Place headquarters; and Frieze Art Fair 2012. In 2007 they were awarded the prestigious Building Design Young Architect of the Year and in 2010 were proud recipients of the Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture Award selected from over 340 entries worldwide.