New Tate St Ives Gallery Complete

5 October 2017

The new gallery at Tate St Ives, designed by architect Jamie Fobert, reopens soon.

Max Fordham performed environmental engineering design duties for the project, as well as daylighting and acoustics consultancy.

The media have already toured the building and the coverage has been universally glowing.

Ellis Woodman from The Telegraph noted that the design of the gallery 'allows a warm and animated south light to play on the floor and on the field of monumental concrete beams that support the roof'.

The architect noted that 'our main material for the project was sunlight'.

Olly Wainwright from The Guardian agrees. It 'might sound like an architect's cliche, but here it rings true'. He explains that 'environmental engineers Max Fordham modelled the precise lux levels allowed by international standards for the display of art, from which the architects generated their form'.

The Architects Journal also focused on the quality of light in the new gallery. 'Unusually, the skylights face south,' noted journalist Rob Wilson. 'Their depth mitigating any direct sunlight falling into the gallery or indeed allowing any ’hot-spots’ of light on the gallery walls themselves, in a clever design, on which Max Fordham worked as M&E engineer'. 

’While perfect for artists’ studios, the use of only north light in gallery spaces designed in the 20th century was a big mistake: it’s too cold,’ says Fobert, who instead wanted to capture the rich warm light of St Ives in the new gallery – since the town’s light was the main reason it became famous as an artists’ colony in the first place.

Mark Nutley is a Senior Partner at Max Fordham and he's rightly proud of the completed building. 'We are really proud of the project,' he said. 'We've worked closely with Tate and Jamie Fobert's practice to realise a beautiful, sunlit art space for everyone to enjoy.'

The St Ives extension is the latest in a long and productive relationship between Max Fordham and Tate, having worked together on all the galleries including the recently completed Switch House at Tate Modern and new galleries at Tate Britain.

The new St Ives gallery will open with artist Rebecca Warren's first major UK solo exhibition in eight years.