In the seventh in a series of articles that follow the development of the new National Gallery and Education Centre, we take a stroll down the Walkers Breezeway.
Despite managing their schedule around heavy rains, project contractors KM Limited are due to complete work on the National Gallery building in early November and the anticipated date for final building inspections, completion of fit-out items, external works and landscaping currently remains unchanged for end of 2011.
Those driving by the site along the Esterley Tibbetts Bypass will have seen that the skylight has been installed, with the roof to follow in shortly. Extensive headway has also been made inside the building with air conditioning and light fixtures now in place, and all internal wiring, walls, ceiling and floor polishing now completed.
With the actual buildings almost complete, work now starts on the critical connecting walkway, which will double as resting area.
“The Walkers Breezeway, named after project partners Walkers, will act as a central hub connecting the Education Centre and the Gallery building,” said National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart.
“Aside from its logistical importance, we see this area much like the front porch of a traditional Caymanian cottage - a shady place to relax and to chat with friends.”
As its name suggests, the Walkers Breezeway has been designed to capture the prevailing breeze and the naturally cool area will be further supplemented with fans.
“It will be a great place to sit and grab a coffee from our café, or for parents to wait for their children as they finish an art class,” said Urquhart.
Raised three feet above the surrounding gardens, the Breezeway also offers great views of the rear of the building, where the Deutsche Bank Sculpture Garden, several individual gardens and the multi-purpose area are located.
Here, families can picnic on the flat grassy area or visit the developing outdoor permanent collection and learn about contemporary sculpture through a variety of educational programmes.
Once the Breezeway has been completed the landscaping will begin – the final stage of the year-long project.
“We are thrilled to see the progress the new gallery has made over the past 12 months; it will be a very fitting showcase for the artistic talents of the Cayman Islands. Walkers is extremely proud to have supported the construction of this wonderful building and greatly look forward to the grand opening,” said David Byrne, chief marketing officer, Walkers.
Next month, the penultimate article will look at the Deutsche Bank Sculpture Garden and meet some of the local sculptors whose work will be featured there.