A New Fruitmarket
We’ve done it. It may have taken a bit longer and we may have encountered a few more obstacles than originally foreseen, but we’re proud finally to have turned the Fruitmarket’s well-loved but well- worn building into a bold, new, collaborative cultural space, and we can’t wait for you to come and see.
A lot of what we all liked about the Fruitmarket is still here. We’ve preserved the essential rhythms of the space, established by the art that has made itself at home here exhibition by exhibition over the last 46 years. We’ve kept the light that floods the top floor from the roof designed by Richard Murphy Architects in 1993, along with much of their re-working of the plan of the original 1931 fruit and vegetable warehouse. But, proceeding with characteristic flair and respect for both the building and the art it is here to house, Neil Gillespie of Reiach and Hall Architects has designed what I hope you’ll agree is a beautiful, quietly glorious new Fruitmarket that celebrates the thinking space that art can give.
In the white spaces of the Fruitmarket building we’ve simplified the exhibition galleries, improved the material finishes and installed new lighting. We’ve turned the staff offices into a brand new learning studio at the heart of the building. We’ve enlarged the café and bookshop, and built a simple yet commanding new main staircase. We’ve improved access with a new lift, a new front door and many more toilets.
And we’ve expanded next door, into another historic warehouse. We’ve kept this steel-framed, brick-lined building as raw as possible, opening it out by removing the upper floor and reusing the joists and floorboards rather than bringing in new materials. The Warehouse, now a joyously unexpected space for multi-artform creativity right in the centre of Edinburgh, bears witness to the history of the Fruitmarket’s buildings, a dark counterpart to the light and space embodied by the Galleries.