Ainsley Gommon Architects


Williamson & Priory Friends


Birkenhead, Wirral



Date Completed

October 2017

Development Overview

Ainsley Gommon Architects has worked together with the Williamson and Priory Friends to develop the design of a new outdoor Green Gallery within a forgotten and neglected courtyard, located in the centre of The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead. The initial design was conceived by former colleagues of the practice, Peter Gommon and David Ainsley. The project has been financed through community funds and has enabled the first phase of the project to be completed.

The green gallery will provide amenity space for staff and visitors and offer a more attractive setting for a series of proposed sculptures.

The design includes a soft landscape layout consisting of low maintenance planting aiming to enhance and encourage biodiversity. Many of the selected plants encourage wildlife, through their range of colour and texture. The planting scheme uses a combination of new screen planting to the periphery of the courtyard to soften the existing hard brick walls and provide a more visually attractive edge to the gallery space. A central raised bed has been planted with Betula utilis jaquemontii (Himalayen Birch) and under planted with Hebe pinguifolia which will provide contrasting colour against the white bark of the birch trees.

The hard landscape materials have been selected in silver and graphite shades to create a neutral background and provide ease of access for all.

The shrub planting will provide a range of seasonal colour and includes architectural planting using Cyanara cardunculus (cardoon) and Cupressus sempervirens Green pencil (cypress).