Tate St Ives’ cliffside gallery is set to reopen this week after a bumper £20m expansion that has doubled its exhibition space.
Jamie Fobert Architects designed the new wing, which has been sunk into the cliff alongside the original Tate St Ives building, adding 600 sq m of galleries.
‘The coastal setting and vernacular of St Ives have both influenced my approach to this work,’ says practice principal Jamie Fobert. ‘Our focus was to create as large a gallery volume as the site would allow. Entirely excavated into the hillside, the new gallery extends, in a continuous journey, the existing gallery sequence.’
The volume has been clad in hand-made ceramic tiles, which have a blue-green glaze to reflect Tate St Ives’ seaside setting. Its roof meanwhile has been turned into a public garden space, dotted with skylights that funnel light into the galleries below.
Adds Fobert: ‘Six large light chambers capture St Ives’ particular light.’
While the new wing will house changing exhibitions – kicking off with sculptor Rebecca Warren’s first major UK show – Tate St Ives’ original Evans and Shalev-designed building has also been given a spruce as part of the project.
The practice has returned to add a new public archive and a glazed studio on the building’s roof terrace, with sea views. Original galleries have also been refurbished, and will now be dedicated to 20th century art, including the works of St Ives’ resident artists Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth – whose home and studio you can visit nearby – on permanently display for the first time.
Says Tate St Ives’ executive director Mark Osterfield: ‘The new Tate St Ives unites the local with the international, the historic with the contemporary, in a venue which brings people together to create, learn and enjoy.’
Tate St Ives, which officially opens to the public on 14 October, will now be open year-round.