House to gallery
Until the early twentieth century Compton Verney was home to the Verney or Willoughby de Broke family for almost 500 years. It has now been transformed from a derelict eighteenth-century mansion into a gallery of international standing, offering a combination of high quality attractions and facilities. The project took ten years to complete and over twenty gallery spaces have been created. Compton Verney is unique in that it is a place where art, architecture, landscape and learning fuse, to offer the visitor an experience that is completely integrated and accessible.
The Georgian mansion and adjacent service buildings have been conserved and extended in a contemporary idiom, a transformation executed by two architectural practices: Stanton Williams and Leamington-based Rodney Melville & Partners. The sensitive combination of restored Grade I-listed buildings and new spaces has been realised in construction and craftsmanship of outstanding quality. Attention to detail in the use of appropriate materials, natural lighting and works of art on open display complement the collections and the site itself. The qualities of the materials chosen - handmade bricks, hand-tooled stone, glass and steel - reflect the spirit of the original buildings, while bringing a new dynamic to the architectural composition. The buildings are linked from a single point of entry and the family of service buildings have been developed to incorporate a Learning Centre and offices.
The historic importance of the site meant extensive consultations with English Heritage, Stratford District Council and the local Parish Council were required, resulting in a careful restoration of the core fabric of the building, with the contemporary extension providing an added dimension and focus. Inside the mansion, restored eighteenth-century rooms on the ground floor lead to progressively more abstract and flexible spaces on the upper floors, where new galleries have been created within the existing shell of the historic building. The galleries at Compton Verney are of an international standard enabling the hosting of loaned works of art from all over the world.
Compton Verney houses six permanent collections, focusing on areas currently under-represented in British museums and galleries.
The collections are owned by the Compton Verney Collections Settlement and continue to grow, supported by funds from the Peter Moores Foundation.
The temporary exhibitions programme offers both historic and contemporary shows and is designed to appeal to a wide audience.