The Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground
The Parade Ground is London's premier outdoor arts venue. Situated next to Tate Britain at the heart of Chelsea College of Art and Design, the Parade Ground is a state-of-the art, public exhibition space.
As a flexible, open-air exhibition space with a total area of 3,500-square metres, the Parade Ground offers established and emerging artists alike an unparalleled opportunity to create work on a massive scale. It brings a diverse programme of sculpture, sound, video, design and performance by local, national and international artists to more than one million people who use the space annually.
Following a national competition in 2007, chartered landscape architect firm Planet Earth was appointed to redesign and develop the space to be interactive, adaptable and functional. The design is based on a unique geometric grid that reflects the proportions and harmonies found in the surrounding buildings. With steel lines and lights embedded in the floor, the grid is a subtle design tool during the day, illustrating the vastness of the space, while at night its lights create stunning effects. Access to services, such as electricity, water and anchoring points, increase the range of exhibitions, events and installations that are possible. Seating, trees and theatrical lighting help to define its perimeters without creating barriers, preserving the Parade Ground as a truly open-access public art space.
Transformed on many occasions throughout the year, the Parade Ground comes into its own during the University's annual degree shows, when students use the site in imaginative and unforgettable ways. We all look forward to how they and more seasoned artists and designers incorporate the new enhanced facilities and flexible design in their work.
"For six weeks, my 12-foot sculpture for my MA Show was exhibited on the Parade Ground. It was seen by a huge number of passers-by. One of those was Kay Saatchi and as a result the piece is being included in Anticipation, a showcase of work by recent graduates at Selfridges this month. Public sculptures are extremely difficult to conceive and even harder to
realise - the Parade Ground provides an immediate and ideal space to both build and exhibit work."
Nick Hornby, MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2007
Dr Stephen Deuchar
"I am delighted that University of the Arts London's Parade Ground will now have an ongoing programme of arts events. Tate Britain has a strong and varied contemporary programme with displays of young British artists and our extremely popular Late at Tate programme. This new outdoor gallery will build on this area's vibrant arts calendar and I look forward to collaborating on projects for this new space."
Dr Stephen Deuchar, Director of Tate Britain
World renowned artist Anish Kapoor officially opened the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground at Chelsea College of Art and Design on Wednesday 2 July.
He was joined by fellow Chelsea alumnus Alan Rickman, director Stephen Frears and design guru Stephen Bayley in celebrating the opening of London's gallery without walls. The space, which is the capital's largest open-air gallery, will showcase cutting-edge installations on a monumental scale, by both established artists and students.
Read the full press release
Read coverage of the launch on arts website Culture24