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IMMA Announces Winning Design for the Matheson Creativity Hub in Memory of Tim Scanlon

Services: Impactful Business Programme Date: 28/03/2023

Michou de Bruijn, Senior Designer, Studio Makkink & Bey; Elizabeth Grace, Partner, Matheson; Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; and Annie Fletcher, Director, IMMA.

IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) and Matheson are pleased to announce Studio Makkink & Bey as the winning practice for the creation of a new community space in the heart of the Museum, titled the Matheson Creativity Hub in Memory of Tim Scanlon, revealed at a gathering at the museum on Monday, 27 March 2023. 

Studio Makkink & Bey was selected by a panel of judges, after an invited architectural competition, to create an innovative space at IMMA that combines exceptional architecture and design to provide a welcoming and inclusive space, that inspires creative engagement and fosters social connectivity for audiences of all ages. IMMA are thrilled to partner with Matheson to realise this new space. 

Working with the Arts Committee at Matheson, as part of the firm’s Impactful Business Programme, IMMA invited Irish and international practices to engage in an architecture competition resulting in a showcase of the six proposals, which are currently on display until 2 April 2023. The six practices are: AB Projects & Atelier Rae; borien & Ben Mullen; Broken Fields; Diogo Passarinho Studio (D_P_S); RESOLVE Collective; and Studio Makkink & Bey.

Studio Makkink & Bey is led by designer-architect Rianne Makkink and designer Jurgen Bey. The studio works in various domains of applied art and includes public space projects, product design, architecture, exhibition design and applied arts. The ambition of Studio Makkink & Bey is to see the role of the designer expanded to the most strategic function possible. To this end, their design team includes professionals from many different fields of knowledge; forming alliances with other designers, architects and experts.

Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson, commenting on the announcement of the winning practice and partnership with IMMA, said: 

"On behalf of Matheson, I am delighted to congratulate Studio Makkink & Bey on this achievement and their innovative design for this new space, which is a fitting tribute to Tim's passion for the arts and reflects the ethos of our Impactful Business Programme to make a meaningful sustainable impact within our community. The Matheson Creativity Hub underlines our commitment as a firm to place diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of our business and I am proud that this space will promote engagement with the arts for people of all ages and backgrounds – providing an accessible and inclusive space for all audiences which will inspire creativity and innovation."

Annie Fletcher, IMMA Director, commenting on the announcement said:

The calibre of work submitted genuinely made the job of choosing one overall winner an exceptionally difficult one! What impressed us most about the Makkink & Bey design was its potential to be truly transformational and to drive IMMA forward, opening exciting new conversations and collaborations.  We are very much looking forward to working with the Makkink & Bey team over the coming months to bring their designs to life and to unveil a new space here at IMMA for schools and community groups, creative partners, and artists”. 

Alongside the winning practice, two highly commended designs were selected by the panel: Diogo Passarinho Studio (D_P_S) and borien & Ben Mullen

The panel of judges comprised of Annie Fletcher, Director, IMMA; Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; Elizabeth Grace, Partner, Matheson; Gráinne Dever, Partner, Matheson; Brídín O'Donoghue, wife of Tim Scanlon; Nathalie Weadick, Outgoing Director, Irish Architecture Foundation; and Jacquie Moore, Deputy Art Advisor, The Office of Public Works (OPW).

IMMA will work with Studio Makkink & Bey to realise their design and these rooms will become the Matheson Creativity Hub in Memory of Tim Scanlon. This project is part of a wider long-term project to reimagine IMMA’s non-gallery spaces, with the ambition to make these spaces inclusive and to create a central hub to be used by IMMA’s Engagement and Learning Team, community groups, creative partners, and artists, as well as a space for visitors to dwell and explore on their own.

Matheson has made a significant contribution to the cultural landscape in Ireland and has worked with IMMA since 2015, supporting over 50 artists through new commissions and major international exhibitions. Both partnerships – New Art at IMMA (2015 – 2018) and Irish Art at IMMA (2018 – 2019) were championed by our shared friend and colleague Tim Scanlon (1965 -2020). As Former Chairman of Matheson and IMMA Board Member (2016 – 2020) Tim was an important influence on IMMA’s thinking. Tim encouraged progressive programming and change-making conversations that placed community engagement and inclusivity at the heart of the museum’s activities. To that end we are delighted to dedicate this new space in memory of Tim.


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