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Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery to lead city's cultural comeback

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June 28 2021

Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery to lead city's cultural comeback

Reiach & Hall Architects have completed a £4.3m redevelopment of Edinburgh's Fruitmarket gallery to double the available floor space following a two-year lockdown spanning refurbishment.

Relaunching on 7 July with an exhibition by Karla Black the cultural venue now extends to a neighbouring fruit and vegetable warehouse, reconditioned as a dark counterpart to the light and bright original gallery.

Retaining as much of the fabric of the steel-framed and brick-lined building as possible the work has seen the volume opened up to its fullest extent by removing an upper floor, reusing the original joists and floorboards to create a new display space.

As part of this work the existing gallery has been given a makeover and its spaces rationalised to create a new learning studio, enlarged information room, cafe and bookshop, all accessible from a new main staiircase.

Reiach & Hall director Neil Gillespie said: ‘We were aware of the formidable cultural significance of the Fruitmarket both as an agency for excellence and as a piece of architecture. The organisation’s two contrasting but complementary ambitions – renovation and extension – are literally contained within their two contrasting and complementary archetypal spaces. We sought to combine the two very different worlds of the existing Fruitmarket building and the newly excavated warehouse next door to create an ensemble of spaces that is innovative and courageous, offering incredible opportunities for interpretation and use."

Closed since September 2019 the gallery will relanch with a commissioned exhibition by Black in the form of a series of sculptures formed from unconventional materials such as earth, medicines, cosmetics and cellophane. 

Photograph by Tom Nolan

4 Comments

Randall Sloan
#1 Posted by Randall Sloan on 29 Jun 2021 at 09:15 AM
Cultural comeback?? Hmm, interesting that in order to do that they seem to have stripped out all of the building's character, both original and of the mid-90s renovation. This is not some Chipperfield-esque Berlin gallery and nor should it be trying to be.
KLD
#2 Posted by KLD on 29 Jun 2021 at 09:50 AM
Re: the pink splotch in the second picture, I can't tell if I'm looking at a piece of art or some wet plaster.
mick
#3 Posted by mick on 29 Jun 2021 at 16:00 PM
Excuse me! Do you mind if I yawn ?
rm kartoffel
#4 Posted by rm kartoffel on 5 Jul 2021 at 20:10 PM
lol. the decline of and degredation of Western culture in a photo.

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