Bristol, United Kingdom 2003–2006
Client: Spike Island
This commission involved working with the arts organisation Spike Island on their building in Bristol. Since its formation in the late 1990s, Spike Island has established itself as a significant national centre for the contemporary visual arts, combining artist studios, work, and exhibition spaces. The organisation is located in a former tea-packing factory at the Cumberland Basin, on the edge of Bristol’s Harbourside. It offers a total of seventy long-let studios and spaces for arts-related businesses, whose rent generates revenue for the activities of the trust.
Caruso St John worked with Spike Island on a wide range of improvements to its building that provided studios, galleries, and new facilities to help Spike Island embrace a wider membership – and addressed construction and operational problems with the building.
The new scheme has made a consolidated central entrance for the whole building, with a new circulation route east to west connecting all areas of the ground floor. At the centre of the building, the former tea-packing Hall has been changed to provide two new galleries, which give Spike Island the flexibility that they require for their wide-ranging exhibition programme. A new café bar is located on the west side of the new entrance. The design of the café was a collaboration with the artists Sue and Hailey Tompkins.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Lorenzo De Chiffre, Christiane Felber, Rod Heyes, Ah-Ra Kim
Hayley Tompkins, Sue Tompkins
Price & Myers
Chamberlain Construction & Consultancy
Gardiner & Theobold
Gleeds Health & Safety