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Fobert wins Tate St Ives project for a second time

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Jamie Fobert Architects has won the re-run contest to design an extension to Tate in St Ives, Cornwall

The architect, who won the first competition to design a £13.5 million addition to the gallery back in 2005, saw off a six-strong shortlist in the contest launched through the OJEU process following a ‘re-scoping of the original project’ last year (see below).

The Clerkenwell-based practice was interviewed last month alongside 6a Architects, DSDHA and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio. Original finalists Amanda Levete and Tony Fretton Architects later to withdraw from the tender process following a review of the project, submission requirements and time available.

According to the judges, Jamie Fobert Architects ‘showed a cogent approach; with clear thinking shown about what the gallery requirements will be, balanced with the requirements of the wider community’.

Tate will now work with Jamie Fobert Architects to ‘refine the brief, the associated costs and the funding package’ for the schem which includes new gallery spaces and art handling facilities.

The judging panel included Nicholas Grimshaw, as independent architectural advisor, Alex Beard, the deputy director of Tate and Ron Tulley the mayor of St Ives.


  • The gallery began investigating the creation of additional gallery space, improved visitor services and learning spaces, alongside the refurbishment of the existing building in 2004. After extensive public consultation and research, the Tate St Ives Phase Two partners concluded in October 2007 that an extension was the only way to deliver an innovative exhibition programme, better engagement with artists, young people, families and the wider community, and support the development of a knowledge economy in Cornwall.
  • At the end of 2007 Penwith Housing Association (PHA) announced plans for the redevelopment of the Meadow Flats site to the west of the gallery.
  • In January 2008 the Town Council askedthe housing association and gallery meet to to see if there were opportunities to develop the proposals in a more complementary way. 
  • As a result in 2009 Cornwall Council agreed to support the housing redevelopment in partnership with PHA, and to finance the acquisition of part of the Meadow Flats site for the gallery.
  • The current redevelopment of Meadow Flats next to Tate St Ives paves the way for the gallery. New flats are being built at the front of the site to improve accommodation and accessibility, and the proposed extension to TSI will use the rear section of land, to the west of the gallery and below the Barnoon car park.  
  • The project has been re-scoped and an outline funding package developed. Under European Regulations this has demanded a re-tender of the design team.


Previous story (AJ 22.11.11)

Fobert in running again as Tate St Ives names finalists

Jamie Fobert Architects is again in contention to design an extension to Tate in St Ives, Cornwall

The architect, who won the first competition to design a £13.5 million addition to the gallery in 2005, has been named on a six-strong shortlist in the contest ‘re-run’ following a ‘re-scoping of the original project’ earlier this year (see below).

The Clerkenwell-based practice has been named alongside 6a architects, Amanda Levete Architects, DSDHA, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio and Tony Fretton Architects.

All the finalists will be assessed in early 2012 by a panel including representatives from Tate, Cornwall Council, St Ives Town Council and an independent assessor. 

A spokesman said: ‘This is the next step towards achieving an improved gallery offer for the communities and visitors of Cornwall.

Since initial proposals were presented in 2005 for a gallery extension, Tate St Ives has worked with the community and project partners to develop an alternative scheme complementing Penwith Housing Association’s development to produce better housing for their residents.

She added: ‘Working in partnership with Cornwall Council who have gifted the land for the project and worked with Tate St Ives on plans to secure a funding package; and with the support of the Town Council, Tate is now leading on the project which will develop a new design for the new site.’

Previous story (AJ 07.10.11)

Fresh start for Tate St Ives forces Fobert to compete again

Jamie Fobert’s competition-winning extension scheme for the Tate in St Ives, Cornwall, has been finally scrapped following a decision to re-tender the project

It came six years after the Clerkenwell-based studio won a contest to design the building.

The original scheme for Cornwall County Council proposed a £13.5 million single-building extension on the Barnoon car park directly above the gallery.

The rooftop site has however been scrapped in favour of another site forcing the practice to compete again for the project.

Jamie Fobert said: ‘Obviously we would have loved to have built our first project straight away but the site that was chosen was difficult.

He added: ‘The public opinion was not there from the beginning [but] the town is now much more on board.’

Fobert said the studio had continued to work with Tate and was planning to submit again for the contest. ‘It’s actually about a more continuous working relationship.’

Tate St Ives – which took over as client for the extension – issued an OJEU tender seeking design teams today.

The art gallery hopes to appoint an architect in the next six months. The project aims to create new exhibition and learning spaces and includes the refurbishment of existing buildings.

Tate St Ives executive director Mark Osterfield said: ‘The Tate St Ives Phase 2 Project needs to deliver flexible, well designed facilities, which reflect our rootedness in the communities of Cornwall, whilst allowing us to continue to build new ways of working for the future.

‘The challenge for the Design Team will be to balance the history and context of the gallery, with a contemporary vision for the future. The team will need to listen and respond to both Tate and our community stakeholders delivering a quality building born out of dialogue.’

AJ Buildings Library

Images drawings and data for Tate Gallery St Ives by Evans and Shalev Architects

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