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The Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh

The Fruitmarket Gallery

Located on Market Street on the edge of the Old Town in the centre of Edinburgh, the project for Fruitmarket Gallery was primarily concerned with extending the existing gallery spaces into the adjoining warehouse and former nightclub. The proposals to form one single venue for the Gallery involved  the renovation of the existing gallery facilities, adding new gallery spaces along with a new learning/education suite and the relocation of the administrative and workshop accommodation.

The refurbishment of the existing gallery carefully recalibrates it for the future while the extension adds very different gallery and performance territory within the adjacent warehouse. Both buildings had already been heavily altered, each bearing the visible evidence of their earlier uses. The building at No.36-69 is Cat-B listed, whilst No.45 is not listed but the substructure supporting it and the adjacent property is Cat-A listed as part of the wider Waverley Station complex.

The project retains much of the detail of the existing buildings while recognising the need to bring the facilities both into line with current Building Standards, particularly accessibility, and to improve the facilities including environmental control to a level that maintains the Fruitmarket Gallery’s critical position as an arts centre of international significance.

The overall intention within the existing gallery spaces was to amplify the sense of light and space in order that the art remains centre stage. The reconfiguration increases the area of the café/shop, creates a new, expanded kitchen  and accessible toilet facilities. Collectively, these amendments increase the Fruitmarket’s ability to run workshops and host seminars, conferences and events.

The original galleries are seen as a series of white spaces - surfaces are smooth and continuous while detail and material expression are suppressed. The palette in the warehouse, by contrast, is dark and sensual. It is a space that relishes the directness and crudeness of the existing steel frame, the strength and texture of the brick walls and the industrial timber floor.

Another equally critical requirement was the opening up the blank facades of the former nightclub to create activated frontages, enabling the Fruitmarket Gallery to project its cultural programme to the city. This transformation assists in the creation of a lively and engaging public face along Market Street.


Scottish Design Awards Public Building of the Year 2022
Scottish Design Awards Regeneration Project of the Year 2022 Shortlisted
Scottish Design Awards Retrofit Project of the Year 2022 Shortlisted

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