An ambitious new photography venue called the London Museum of Photography is due to open in the UK capital close to the Whitechapel Gallery. The new space in the East End will be run by the Swedish organisation Fotografiska, which founded a privately-run museum of photography on the waterfront in Stockholm in 2010.
The gallery will occupy the new White Chapel Building designed by Fletcher Priest Architects, located close to the Whitechapel Gallery. According to Derwent London, the property investment company that owns the building, “Fotografiska will occupy the whole of Phase two comprising 89,000 sq. ft on a 15-year lease”. Completion of phase two is scheduled for next year.
Tommy Rönngren, chairman of the Fotografiska board, says in a statement: “Fotografiska has for a long time been searching for suitable facilities in London, one of the world's most dynamic cities when it comes to photography. Whitechapel, which is one of London's most dynamic areas, will be a perfect location.” A spokesman for Fotografiska declined to comment further on the London outpost.
The Stockholm-based 5,500 sq. m Fotografiska centre for contemporary photography was founded by brothers Jan and Per Broman. The gallery is based in a former Art Nouveau building; the SKr250m (£24m) restoration was funded by the city of Stockholm. It hosts four major temporary exhibitions annually, and has organised shows dedicated to artists such as David LaChapelle, Irving Penn and Helena Blomqvist.
Meanwhile, the publication Commercial Observer reports that Fotografiska will also lease a 45,000 sq. ft space in New York on Park Avenue South. The building, located near Gramercy Park, is owned by the company RFR Realty. The Fotografiska spokesman declined to comment on the claim.