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Address: High Street | Lewis Gardens, Colchester CO1 1JH, England
Phone Number: +44 1206 577067
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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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 76 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 20
    Excellent
  • 15
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 11
    Poor
  • 21
    Terrible
A hidden treasure - enjoy while you can!

A great place hidden from general view and with a diverse range of activities and exhibitions. It's such a shame Firstsite is so difficult to find and is not well positioned for... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed July 2, 2015
KeithGrinsted
,
Halstead, United Kingdom
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76 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Halstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2015 NEW

A great place hidden from general view and with a diverse range of activities and exhibitions. It's such a shame Firstsite is so difficult to find and is not well positioned for convenient parking. When you get there it is a stunning piece of architecture with some interesting stuff going on as well as some local history to explore.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2015 NEW

our family went today (saturday) and had a brilliant time. my 4-year-old daughter loved the free art activity and my 2-year-old son scurried through the wonderful bright spaces asking questions. the tour for children is brilliant and my daughter really engaged with the activities. we also went to the minories next door and enjoyed the displays there too plus the... More 

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Lancashire
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2015

As first time visitors to Colchester this week we think the town is fortunate to have a centre such as this and were surprised to learn it has attracted some negative feedback from local people and the local press, in the past. As an attractive space for the arts we think the town can only benefit from future exhibitions in... More 

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Colchester
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2015

I'll admit that it took me along time to get myself over to visit Firstsite having been put off by the politics and poor feedback but when I went along recently , it was with an open mind and a readiness to have my perceptions challenged. The building, if ugly from the outside, had more of a wow factor once... More 

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Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015

Designed by international 'starchitect' Rafael Vignoly, Firstsite is one of the most interesting and beautiful modern buildings you'll find outside London. The exhibitions are varied and always really good. And it's FREE ENTRANCE ! Some of the more conservative and downright phillistine residents of our lovely town are very anti Firstsite because they preferred the ugly and smelly bus station... More 

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Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
261 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015

We gave not been for a while and had hoped to see an improvement - there are none, just empty walls. The building itself is impressive but this is such a waste of public funds. It should be closed closed and re-opened as a Roman Heritage Museum to house Colchester's impressive finds and story. The Roman mosaic that is already... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2015

I went to the Firstsite with my son and his girlfriend they are in their 20s and I am in my 50s. We all thought the same. What a load of rubbish. A load of bath robes with shells on them, frames painted on walls with nothing in them, random items ie a pencil and a plinth, so the list... More 

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Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015

Initial impressions of the gallery are excellent - it looks stunning particularly on a sunny day, but we all found the actual exhibitions difficult to warm to. The ideas/concepts seemed promising but unfortunately they turned out to be 'too arty' for us! However, thumbs up to the cafe the food was particularly good, hearty portions and pleasantly presented. We felt... More 

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Colchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2015

I don’t know whether any body has seen some of the write ups in the local press about the Firstsites exhibitions this past week. Well, I visited there today and was quite struck on the Carla Zaccagnini exhibition Elements of Beauty, first impressions may look just like black frames painted on walls but I found this to be a fascinating... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Bob, Thank you for your comments on your recent visit to Firstsite, we're really glad you enjoyed your time here and particularly the Carla Zaccagnini exhibition. You have mentioned the negativity around this exhibition in our local paper, so please feel free to share your thoughts on the show with them too! We hope to see you again soon,... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
386 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015

A building of this quality could form a marvelous backdrop to some stunning art. Unfortunately all it served to spotlight today was the paucity of invention on display here. By far the worst offender was an installation by one Carla Zaccagnini entitled "Elements of Beauty." It comprises a room full of empty frames with numbers each apparently the precise size... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hello, Thank you for your comments, I'm sorry to hear our current exhibitions didn't meet your expectations. Firstsite has a changing programme of exhibitions so perhaps you will consider visiting again during our next exhibition: John Virtue: The Sea which opens on 12 June. This is a major solo exhibition by this renowned Norfolk-based painter, featuring huge canvases inspired by... More 

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Additional Information about Firstsite

Address: Address: High Street | Lewis Gardens, Colchester CO1 1JH, England
Phone Number: +44 1206 577067
Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  England  >  Essex  >  Colchester
Open Hours:
Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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