- The first publication on Colchester’s contemporary arts organisation
- A new title in Scala’s popular Art Spaces series
The Essex-Suffolk borderlands have always produced and attracted great artists, and the association of contemporary artists and craft workers with this part of England is equally significant. Yet until recently there has been no major arts centre which could highlight that heritage. Firstsite, which opened in September 2011 is that building: located in Colchester, Britain’s fastest growing town, the building is designed by international architect Rafael Vinoly. It is a model for arts-led urban regeneration in the east of England and a fusion of art, education and community involvement. This latest book in Scala’s Art Spaces series examines the design and delivery of this innovative building, including the original conception of the project, through the development of the site, to the genesis of the project from Colchester’s rich visual arts context and the travails of funding and construction, and the deveopment of the site, and features beautiful photography of the completed arts centre.
Jay Merrick is the architecture critic of The Independent newspaper, and has written on architecture and art for publications in Britain, the US and Australia including The Observer, Blueprint and New Statesman. He has produced central texts for architectural monographs on Nicholas Grimshaw, Arup Associates, and a leading Danish practice, Schmidt Hammer Lassen.