Design and Construction
The Lightbox has been designed by an internationally respected team, led by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye. It was built by a well established family firm, R Durtnell & Son, who have a reputation for unusual and high quality buildings.
The team worked with The Lightbox between 2002 and 2007 to make sure that the new gallery was an exceptional addition to the Woking landscape. Listening to the concerns and ideas of local people was a really important part of this process. The gold and silver façade which illuminates the building, reflects the importance of what it contains for people across the South East.
The Lightbox takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. The building generates some of its own electricity from photo voltaic cells on the roof. The rest comes from the town centre combined heat and power station – a particularly low carbon way of generating power, heat and cooling. In order to minimise resource use, it is naturally ventilated and has all sorts of touches like self-stopping taps and lights that turn off when you leave the room.
The main materials are gold - and silver - coloured aluminium tiles on the facade facing the town centre, while the canal side of the building is clad in timber that will weather to a silver colour. The main entrance uses full-height glass, creating a light and airy space to welcome people into the building.
The stone walls from the ground level of the building are continued into the garden, where a beautiful avenue of blossom trees create shady alcoves surrounded by fragrant plants. There's also seating for the cafe and fantastic views along the canal.
Inside, the triple height entrance area immediately allows you to see all the main spaces in the building. Flooded with light, there are stunning views to outside in surprising places throughout the building.
The Lightbox's architects, Marks Barfield, have won a national award for the building's community focused design and sustainability...