The park was established with a single grant of £1,000 in 1977. And after more than 40 years of careful evolution, it’s opened up the once private 500-acre estate, creating two visitor centres, a building dedicated to learning, and six indoor galleries. The team also manages historic buildings and follies across the site, including a Greek-style summer house and chapel.
Founding and Executive Director, Peter Murray started working with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in 1991. Their first commission was to create the Park’s first indoor space, the 200m2 Pavilion Gallery which opened with an exhibition by Lynn Chadwick.
The practice went on to design the award-winning YSP Centre and Underground Gallery, interventions which were relatively simple and classical – ‘a pencil line in the landscape’.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s new £3.6 million visitor centre, takes its name as a result of significant support from family grant-maker, The Garfield Weston Foundation. Built on a historic quarry site, it is a beautiful, light-filled building comprising a restaurant (140m2); gallery space (125m2), inaugurated by Indian artists Thukral and Tagra; public foyer (80m2); and shop (50m2).
Constructed from layered pigmented concrete, evoking the strata of sandstone bedrock, the building emerges from the ground and is defined by a concrete saw-tooth roof. Its low profile protects it from the motorway and forms a sheltered, sunken terrace with views across the Park towards the Lower Lake and Bretton Hall.
Well insulated and naturally ventilated, the Weston also features an air-source heat pump and a pioneering low-energy environmental control system which uses a passive humidity buffer to maintain stable gallery temperature and relative humidity.