The new visitor centre, due for completion in late 2017 – YSP’s 40th anniversary year, has also received generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Foyle Foundation. An on-going fundraising campaign will raise the remaining £1.7million required to deliver the project.
Designed by London-based architects Feilden Fowles, recently named BD Young Architect of the Year 2016, the centre will build capacity at the award-winning visitor attraction in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, which attracted more than 500,000 last year.
“Yorkshire Sculpture Park continues to go from strength to strength, and makes an outstanding contribution to the visual arts in England,” said Michelle Dickson, director north, ACE. “With visitor numbers growing year on year, the development of its new visitor centre will provide improved facilities for the public, and more exhibition space. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to help support this project and look forward to seeing its development.”
The centre will enhance visitor experience and security at the southern entrance to the Park, less than one mile away from M1 junction 38, and contribute to YSP’s long-term financial sustainability.
A new gallery space will provide visitors access to prominent art of the 20th and 21st centuries through a changing programme of temporary exhibitions. The centre will also increase physical, intellectual and emotional access to the landscape, ecology and heritage of the historic 500-acre Bretton Estate, as well as the sculpture presented elsewhere in the Park.
The environmentally friendly building has been designed to make minimum impact on the site and, in common with previous YSP developments, to fit sympathetically with the historic landscape. It will comprise a 140m2 restaurant, 125m2 gallery space, an 80m2 public foyer and a 50m2 shop.
A new shop will extend YSP’s retail operation, providing opportunities for both artists and designers and the building will be well insulated and naturally ventilated, featuring an air-source heat pump for heating and a dense green roof.
Peter Murray CBE, executive and founding director of YSP, said: “We are delighted to have the backing of Arts Council England. The new visitor centre is a reflection of our ambition to increase long-term resilience and sustainability by building audiences, further developing our artistic programme, and increasing visitor income.”
The project will complete a series of developments at YSP that began with the opening of Longside Gallery in 2001, the main visitor centre in 2002, the introduction of the Underground Gallery in 2005, the transformation of the estate Kennel Block into the Rushbond Learning Centre and café in 2011, and most recently the refurbishment of the Chapel in 2014.