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Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art to open in May 2018

Assemble has been appointed to design the new space, which will consist of eight exhibition spaces

Posted by Lucinda Reid | May 11, 2017 | Bricks & mortar

Goldsmiths, University of London has announced that Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art (Goldsmiths CCA), a new public art gallery to be located on campus, will open in May 2018. Under the direction of Sarah McCrory, this new institution will be open to everyone, hosting world-class exhibitions, projects and artist residencies by international artists, and enhancing Goldsmiths reputation for excellence and innovation in the arts. The new gallery will also host talks, performances, films and other events related to its wider exhibition programme. Goldsmiths has a rich heritage, with a history of nurturing artists, and Goldsmiths CCA marks the next chapter and an important moment in the development of the university.

Turner Prize winning architecture collective Assemble have been appointed to design the new space for Goldsmiths CCA. It is their first major building commission, and will be a new addition to the Goldsmiths campus and an important new landmark in south east London. The building that will house the gallery will be part of the redeveloped Grade II listed Laurie Grove Baths and adjoining water tanks.

This ambitious build consists of eight diverse exhibition spaces, a café, and an education space totalling just under 1000m².

Goldsmiths CCA will allow the university’s neighbours, students and staff to benefit from having a world-class centre for the visual arts on their doorstep. It will bring artists, curators and scholars from around the world to the campus, will enable numerous interdisciplinary collaborations, be a place for research, and will generate a range of creative and intellectual activity. Through the gallery, Goldsmiths wants to inspire the next generation of contemporary artists and curators and will include creative learning programming as an integral part of its remit, including working with schools, young people, and the diversity of residents in Lewisham, across London, and through regional partnerships.

This project has been generously supported by an auction of works by high-profile Goldsmiths alumni at Christie’s in 2015 as well as gifts from trusts, foundations and friends of the university. Goldsmiths’ campaign is now moving to raise the final £1million towards the construction of Goldsmiths CCA. 

Sarah McCrory, Director of Goldsmiths CCA, said: “The scope of this ambitious and brilliant build offers an incredible opportunity for artists. As a place for exhibitions, events, performances, talks, research and learning, the opportunity to create a new institution, one unbeholden to a history, is an incredible privilege. Being connected to Goldsmiths, and the wealth of talent and knowledge that incorporates, will feed into the realisation of a very new and exciting centre and reflect the university’s status as one of the leading contemporary art institutions in the world.”

Paloma Strelitz and Adam Willis, from Assemble, added: "The Victorian bathhouse at Laurie Grove offers a series of extraordinary found spaces. The cast iron water tanks have a powerful materiality which will be preserved and amplified, whilst new top-lit galleries will provide a rich spatial counter-point in an ensemble offering unique opportunities for the display of art. We envisage the gallery becoming a new centre for the arts in south London, and are honoured to contribute to an institution that is further promoting its identity as an inspirational source of creativity for students, practitioners and the public."

Details of Goldsmiths CCA’s exhibition and residency programme will be announced later this year. For more information visit their website.

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