The Tate Gallery is a spectacular building which occupies a spectacular site overlooking Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall. It is purpose designed to show art in the surroundings in which they were created.
The architects, Eldred Evans and David Shalev, won a national architectural competition in 1990. They had already designed the Truro Law Courts.
The Gallery site is dramatic, standing on top of a 50ft cliff, with a sheer drop down to the beach. The three story building has the restaurant on the roof, with two floors of viewing space below. There is a wonderful view over the rooftops of St Ives out over the harbour, a across the sea from Clodgy Point and St Ives Bay to the Godrevy Lighthouse.
The shape of the building is dictated by the shape of the cylindrical gas holder (for the St Ives town gas supply) that previously occupied the site.
The architects aim was to incorporate their design with the painters of St Ives ' You can see the landscape at the same time as the painters' visions of it' says Eldred Evans. 'The plan of the Gallery', she says 'is reminiscent of a Ben Nicholson painting'.
Tate Gallery St Ives page for full information on opening hours and exhibitions currently available.
Cornwall Tourist Information Cornwall Calling front page
The hotel to stay at when visiting Cornwall is Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall find out more about it