In 1994, an international competition was held to select a design for a gallery for the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts. Michál Cohen and Cindy Walters, who had just graduated as architects from UKZN, submitted the winning design. They have since gone on to establish a prestigious architectural practice in London - Walters and Cohen.
The brief was for a community art gallery that would encourage and promote young artists and create a vibrant and stimulating environment in which to exhibit work from around South Africa. The project called for collaboration with local artists who made up the client body. The success of the project depended on a building that achieved maximum flexibility within a very limited budget, and a detailed understanding of the local climate.
20 years later, the building remains contemporary, robust, flexible and aesthetically pleasing, and goes a long way in representing the identity of the organisation, and its drive towards a dynamic and transformed future.
Exhibitions are mounted in the Main, Mezzanine and Media galleries. The Park Gallery and the Shop retail the work of local artists and crafters, and the Café stairs and glass box accommodate pop-up youth exhibitions every First Thursday