Piers Art Centre

Reiach and Hall Architects, Orkney, 2006


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The new building echoes the form of its harbourside neighbours 

Ioana Marinescu (website)     Download Original

  • The new building echoes the form of its harbourside neighbours    
  • View across the harbour    
  • View from the harbour    
  • View of the harbour context    
  • Internal light reflecting on the harbour water    
  • The ribbed aluminium and glass of the new building    
  • Entrance    
  • Aluminium ribs contrast with the original stone structure    
  • Detail of the aluminium ribs    
  • Looking down the first floor past the link to the existing gallery    
  • Small-scale works are shown in a suitable intimate setting    
  • On the ground floor of the original harbour building    
  • Entrance view onto the street    
  • The extension is joined to the exisint structure by a glass link    
  • Zinc-clad, stone and timber structures together    
  • Timer stairs    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Section through the extension    
  • Skech    
  • Site-relationship diagram    
  • Sketch of the harbourfront site    
  • Sketch    
  • Sketch    
  • Sketch    
  • Sketch    
  • Sketch    
  • The underlying brief    
  • Construction image    
  • construction image    
  • Construction image    
  • Construction image    

Restoration, refurbishment and addition to the Piers Art Centre, based around a collection of 20th century 'St Ives School' paintings and sculpture

A combination of three separate structures are linked to form the Piers Art Centre. A former harbour building, an 18th century street house and a new-build link extension.

The original two-floor stone harbour building housing the main collection has been restored. The interior walls have been only partly reconstructed to allow for a sense of the whole, room-to-room experience. The exterior has remained unaltered other than to be repointed.

The building on the street is made up of three knocked-through cottages. This has been reworked to act as a 'shop window'.

The new addition mimics the harbour building sitting parallel but further back from the sea, wider and higher. The roof and walls are black zinc sheeting, while the north facade incorporates vertical-ribbed follow bars of aluminium and glass infill strips. The extension links the two existing structures, creating a corridor-cum-gallery that runs the length of the building.


  • Begun: Apr 2005
  • Completed: Nov 2006
  • Floor area: 1,023m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £2.8M
  • Tender date: Dec 2004
  • Procurement: SBCC Contractor Design portion with quantities May 1999 addition (Jan 2002 revision)
  • Address: The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3AA, United Kingdom

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