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Mathematics: The Winton Gallery nominated for New London Awards 2017

Following its recent RIBA London Award, Mathematics: The Winton Gallery at the Science Museum has been shortlisted for this year’s New London Awards’ Culture and Community category, representing the best examples of a civic project for both local residents and international visitors.

Supported by the Mayor of London, the New London Awards celebrate the best new projects in London making a positive contribution to their surroundings and life in the capital. The winners will be announced on 5 July at the awards ceremony in the City of London’s Guildhall.

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery is designed to bring together remarkable stories and historical artefacts, highlighting the central role of mathematical practice in all our lives

“This pioneering project has vastly increased visitor numbers to the Mathematics Gallery and is an exemplar project in how architecture can be central to successful curatorial development… the client should be commended for engaging Zaha Hadid Architects as its designers,” explained the RIBA awards jury.

The RIBA jury citation continues, “The project is finished to an exacting standard, whilst robust enough to handle the 3.5million visitors the Science Museum attracts each year. Walls are subtly modelled in gypsum; the floating pod structure is precisely engineered and the precast concrete benches and new floor surfaces are seamless and refined.”

Positioned at the centre of the gallery is the Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’ aeroplane, built in 1929 for a competition to construct safe aircraft. Ground-breaking aerodynamic research influenced the wing design of this experimental aeroplane, helping to shift public opinion about the safety of flying and to secure the future of the aviation industry. This aeroplane encapsulates the gallery’s overarching theme, illustrating how mathematical practice has helped solve real-world problems and in this instance paved the way for the safe passenger flights that we rely on today.

Mathematics defines the gallery’s design. Inspired by the Handley Page aircraft, the design is driven by equations of airflow used in the aviation industry. The layout and lines of the gallery represent the air that would have flowed around this historic aircraft in flight, from the positioning of the showcases and benches to the three-dimensional curved surfaces of the central pod structure.

Curator Dr David Rooney said, “Mathematical practice underpins so many aspects of our lives and work. Bringing together these remarkable stories, people and exhibits in this new gallery is inspiring visitors to think about the role of mathematics in a new light.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said, “We were hugely impressed by the ideas and vision of the late Dame Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher when they first presented their design for the new mathematics gallery over two years ago. I am sure that this gallery will provide inspiration for our millions of visitors for many years to come.”

The Sunday Times agreed, describing the new gallery as “an environment that fills you with wonder… I found myself uplifted by something pure, floaty and mysterious: the beauty of maths.”

(Above image ©Matt Danby – ArchiFocused.com)

New London Awards

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery – Science Museum