Pier Arts Center

Architect: Reiach and Hall
2007 Stromness Orkney

Here we present one of the best works, nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe award, already congratulated with the Riba 2008 Award.

" The new Pier Arts Centre in Stromness has recently undergone a major transformation by Reiach and Hall Architects. The original arts centre first opened in 1979, occupying two listed buildings on a stone pier that had been restored by Levitt Bernstein. Its celebrated collection of British modern art was assembled by the centre’s founder Margaret Gardiner, and includes work by Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo.

Neil Gillespie, design director of Reiach & Hall, explained that “our intention was to realise a building that grounded itself in the town, creating a form that, while being somehow familiar, also clearly expressed a contemporary ambition and confidence.”

The renovated and extended Pier Arts Centre, which includes a new wing that houses temporary exhibition spaces, education facilities and a gallery devoted to art produced in the Orkneys, essentially fuses traditional Stromness building forms with contemporary materials and techniques. Finishes include a new bronze and glass entrance; ribbed zinc cladding on the striking sea facing gable; and a patinated zinc outer building shell. The anthracite coloured material, which provides the weather proofing for the building, was also selected to bring out the essentially simple design of the new gallery.

Within a severely constrained site, the physical interconnection of each individual building, both new and existing, is central to the success of the new centre. Furthermore, the placement of public, semi-public and commercial realms of the Pier Arts Centre to the street, with more private, intimate “trade” related activities housed on the shore edge, realises “a very Stromness approach” which adds an appropriate richness. "

in Scottish Architecture


  1. É muito interessante a forma como conseguiram uma boa fusão entre o tradicional e o moderno. Apesar de ser diferente do que o rodeia, o edifício parece que está num lugar que desde sempre lhe pertenceu, não o conseguimos imaginar noutro sítio que não este.

    DreamSpaces Girl

  2. Antes de tudo, obrigado pelos comentários, um "feedback" sabe sempre bem, e estímula! Quanto à obra, a sua escolha é um reflexo do que gosto cada vez mais, uma ligação com a natureza, o lugar mas ainda assim notoriamente contemporânea, e tudo realizado de uma forma muito simples. Vou ver se arranjo alguns desenhos técnicos.

    Mais uma vez obrigado