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Address: High Street | Lewis Gardens, Colchester CO1 1JH, England
Phone Number: +44 1206 577067
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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 92 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 21
    Excellent
  • 21
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 13
    Poor
  • 25
    Terrible
Its getting there.....

"First" the bad stuff. This infamous contemporary art gallery was completed 3 years late, final cost of £28m was about £12m over budget and just 3 years after it opened it was... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed August 17, 2015
relaxee
,
Colchester, United Kingdom
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92 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
COLCHESTER
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015 NEW

This facility has slowly been turning into an over-budget White Elephant, thanks to the elitist remit from the Arts Council! However, now that Colchester Arts Centre Director, Anthony Roberts, has been appointed Interim Director, I'm glad to say things are beginning to look up. Decanting the cafe to the front of the building, in an attempt to attract passing trade,... More 

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Colchester
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015

How do you have a public funded gallery with no art? Honestly it feels like the place is a hugely manned exibit that double as a toilet for the skateboarders outside. It could be good, if they had some actually art. I agree art is subjective but the whole venue is devoid of emotion or character which decieves with its... More 

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Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

"First" the bad stuff. This infamous contemporary art gallery was completed 3 years late, final cost of £28m was about £12m over budget and just 3 years after it opened it was closed for 3 months for - wait for it - repairs and refurbishment. The contemporary art is just too way out (and I actually like modern art) for... More 

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Essex UK
Level Contributor
376 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 316 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2015 via mobile

Had a fun evening watching the outdoor screening of Jaws last night. Brought our own chairs, blankets & refreshments, although blankets & refreshments were available at Firstsite Film still great to watch no matter how many times you have seen it. It did get a bit chilly & I did get a mossy bite but I hope they do other... More 

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Essex
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

Firstsite, or firstsite, as it is usually stylised, has been a controversial golden piece of divisiveness for years. I should declare from the outset that I adore huge unusual buildings, so I was predisposed to enjoy the sheer majesty of the appearance and architecture. However, firstsite is so much more and has battled against funding issues, philistinism, apathy, negative press,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

Loved the Hunt and Darton Cafe- they do comedy at your table whilst you're eating roast dinner sandwiches. The centre is slowly improving and including more for everyone.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Suffolk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2015

We went to Firstsite when it opened because the building seemed so architecturally impressive and we love art galleries. On entering the large foyer we ventured down the wide walkways around the galleries to find the continued works but were confused because of the exterior wall sloping meant it would be difficult to make use of the space to hang... More 

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Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2015 via mobile

What a fantastic building well worth a visit for the architecture alone. Hard to find the place with a strange entrance road. Interesting Roman Floor Mosaic but no back story! Empty of visitors. When someone decides on a proper use it will attract a good audience

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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015

Lovely to go for adult time but equally my children loved the retro discos (but not as much as their dad).

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Ipswich, United Kingdom
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015

Weird place, weird people, very weird cafe & i got a very dirty mug! I only used the cafe as a stop off point. Waited half an hour for toast, my coffee mug was dirty, my jam came straight out the jar & the female serving really wasn't very polite. If you want wacky you,ve got it at this place!... More 

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?