Our recently completed extension to Tate St Ives includes a large contemporary gallery, education spaces, transition spaces and offices.
Situated on a sensitive site in the historic town of St Ives, the gallery was entirely excavated into the hillside on the beautiful Cornish coast. This coastal setting and the vernacular of the town informed the design of the new building. Strong, natural light is brought into the sunken gallery through six large light chambers, which is then diffused through 1.5 metre-deep beams.
The new gallery is a single, column free, 500m2 volume, neutral in detail to allow for the varied practices of contemporary art, with the ability to be configured into multiple arrangements of six smaller galleries as required. The new gallery is equal in size to all five galleries of the original building but extends the journey of the existing gallery sequence seamlessly.
Above the gallery the roof has been designed as a public space in its own right—a continuation of the landscape of the Cornish coast— with rocky outcrops amid abundant Cornish wildflowers. The only visible building contains art handling and staff support for both old and new galleries. It is clad in shiplapped glazed ceramic tiles which echo the sea and the sky.
The new gallery opened to the public on the 14th of October 2017 with a major solo exhibition of sculpture Rebecca Warren.