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Address: High Street | Lewis Gardens, Colchester CO1 1JH, England
Phone Number:
+44 1206 713700
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

Firstsite is a visual arts organisation based in Colchester, Essex....

Firstsite is a visual arts organisation based in Colchester, Essex. Firstsite's stunning golden building was designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, and opened in September 2011.

The gallery initiates world-class exhibitions by established and emerging artists, produces publications, and has extensive learning opportunities and artists' support initiatives.

Over the last fifteen years firstsite has gained a strong reputation by presenting ambitious work to new audiences in the East of England and beyond.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 171 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 45
    Excellent
  • 38
    Very good
  • 27
    Average
  • 20
    Poor
  • 39
    Terrible
Great exhibition centre

I highly recommend this thought provoking art centre both for its architecture and the interesting exhibitions. I took my two granddaughters to see the Gee Vaucher exhibition... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Jackie_Debenham
,
Ipswich, United Kingdom
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171 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 169: English reviews
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I highly recommend this thought provoking art centre both for its architecture and the interesting exhibitions. I took my two granddaughters to see the Gee Vaucher exhibition. It was very well presented and made a lasting impression on my 15 year old granddaughter so I bought her the presentation book. At just £15 it was a bargain given that the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jackie_Debenham
Felixstowe
Level Contributor
150 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A stunning building that would be worth visiting just for itself and its decor and signage graphics. The material on exhibition when we visited was right up there with what you might expect to find at the Tate Moder. No surprise really, as Fitrstsite is a Plus Tate gallery with a reputation for displaying challenging works by internationally acclaimed artists.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Chris S
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

always lovely to visit and free entry. has lots of different exhibitions on and always changing. Great cinema room which i saw Matilda in and was brilliant

Helpful?
Thank Jess W
Halstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Loved this building. Obviously the contents change but I have always found this place interesting. Small cafe at back of the building. Its cold and furnished like a school canteen but a good cuppa none the less. Building is free admission so if you don't like it you haven't wasted anything but a little of your time.

Helpful?
Thank smithy10smithy
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2017

We came to Colchester for the football and were pleasantly surprised to find this amazing gallery. The building is very striking and contemporary, and the current Gee Vaucher exhibition very thought provoking. This place is definitely worth a visit.

Helpful?
1 Thank Linda W
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017

A terrific space which lifts ones spirits. An excellent current exhibition by Essex artist Gee Vaucher with an international perspective. What is really good are the various events, screenings and discussions which are running on a regular basis - films and the streaming of theatre, concerts and ballet. Excellent stuff!

Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan P
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2016

There have been a couple of notable exhibitions this year, firstly the excellent Martin Parr exhibition which used most of the gallery space with multiple smaller exhibitions from the rather wonderful photographer. And then currently we have the Gee Vaucher exhibition, which is a tad smaller but still complete with some wonderful artworks presented perfectly. There have also been some... More 

Helpful?
Thank SEjontravels
Firstsite, Marketing Assistant at Firstsite, responded to this review

Thank you for the kind words SEjontravels, glad you enjoyed both the Martin Parr and Gee Vaucher exhibitions and events. We're very excited for our forthcoming 2017 exhibitions and hope to see you back in the building soon! More 

Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
115 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016

Lots of negative press about this place, ignore it , loverly place to wonder around, lots of different artwork all very interesting and loverly coffee shop

Helpful?
Thank essexcookie_11
Firstsite, Marketing Assistant at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi essexcookie_11, thank you for the kind review! We're very excited for our forthcoming exhibitions and events in 2017, so I hope you come back and enjoy the artwork, and the cafe, soon! More 

Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
190 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2016 via mobile

So glad to have found there is a cultural centre in Colchester. . The exhibition plus christmas market and pop up Syrian Cafe was delightfully cultural. Well done . It is small in regards to other cities but it has lots of potential and what counts is what is inside it :)

Helpful?
1 Thank yosiopine
Firstsite, Marketing Assistant at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi yosiopine, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed our Syrian Cafe & Christmas Makers Market events - it was fantastic to welcome so many people into the building! We're very excited to be welcoming the Syrian Cafe back soon too, so keep an eye on our social media for more details. More 

Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2016

Each year I think, lets give Firstsite another try, it can't continue being that bad surely! Yet after 5 years and millions of pounds of public subsidy I went in again only to find it is still empty of visitors and art. Still, as other reviewers point out the toilets are excellent and free - and perhaps is the real... More 

Helpful?
Thank Alex I
Firstsite, Marketing Assistant at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Alex, I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the current Gee Vaucher exhibition, the amount of visitors inside the building does fluctuating depending on a variety of factors. It'd be great to meet and talk to you about what we've got planned for 2017, and if possible get some feedback from you about what we could do better.... More 

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?