Focal Point Gallery is South Essex’s gallery for contemporary visual art, located within the Forum in Central Southend. It adopts a new model of gallery development, incorporated into a larger cultural complex comprising Southend Library and College and the University Of Essex.
“Manalo & White have equipped us with a gallery of excellent standard which is now recognised at an international level and enables us to borrow works from important national collections. Their design physically and visually weaves the new gallery into the broader fabric of the larger building, a new cultural centre incorporating Southend municipal library with South Essex College and Essex University, whilst ensuring the gallery retains architectural independence. They worked alongside our team to commission, design and deliver a series of carefully integrated commissions by significant contemporary artists such as Mike Nelson, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, and Tris Vonna-Michell.” Joe Hill, Focal Point Gallery Director
“The design maximises on the space available, incorporating two substantial gallery spaces, a highly visible window display space, an adaptable project space, an office at the heart, archive display areas, a fully equipped art handling space and a store with AV control booth. Manalo & White’s holistic approach has created a flexible space that has been popular with artists and technical teams working within it over the first twelve months of our programme.” Joe Hill, Focal Point Gallery Director
“I have been struck by how rigorously Manalo & White have researched their work and how sensitive and creative their vision has been. Their enthusiasm and efficiency has had a profoundly positive impact on the future of our organisation. I was so impressed that I asked them to undertake the design of our new gallery”. Andrew Hunt, former Focal Point Gallery Director
“Manalo & White have a great dexterity and sensitivity, both in regard to the material form of their projects, but also in relation to the clients they work with. To some degree I think this ability is accentuated by working with a smaller practice where you deal directly with the main partners”. Mike Nelson, Artist
“Manalo & White’s practice seems to be built on a uniquely creative approach to problem solving, matched by an exceptional empathy towards the client brief.” Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Artist
Photography by Morgan O'Donovan