Originally designed by the architect Charles Harrison Townsend between the years 1896-1897. The now Grade II* listed building was formally opened as the Whitechapel Art Gallery by the then Prime Minister Lord Rosebery in 1901.
This building had been restored a number of times in the past and it was much of this restoration that PAYE have had to focus on. It was popular for a period to clean terracotta and faience with Hydrofluoric Acid – an aggressive, unpleasant material which in the wrong hands can actually damage the surface of the material. Much of PAYE’s work therefore consisted of cleaning, pointing and making good. New replacement terracotta units were reproduced to exacting standards for replacement of damaged and missing elements.
The Whitechapel Gallery commissioned Rachel Whiteread to produce an installation for the front of the building (another project where PAYE held a key role), playing a central part in the London 2012 Olympiad.