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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 167 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 41
    Excellent
  • 38
    Very good
  • 27
    Average
  • 20
    Poor
  • 39
    Terrible
A big space.

I went to the latest exhibition this week. Once again I was disappointed with the quality and content. I have only been to one good one and that was the Andy Warhol exhibition... read more

3 of 5 bubblesReviewed 24 November 2016
694Lola694
,
Colchester, United Kingdom
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167 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 165: English reviews
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 3 weeks ago

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 

Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
115 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 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
177 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 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 

Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2016

I went to the latest exhibition this week. Once again I was disappointed with the quality and content. I have only been to one good one and that was the Andy Warhol exhibition. I go regularly as I go past on my way home. As everybody says, the toilets are Good day!

Helpful?
Thank 694Lola694
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2016

This is a beautiful building shamefully misused. Public money built this, but when I visit they are never there. I'll go again, may be use the toilet, but not linger. If you visit Colchester walk up and take the picture, inside there maybe something to interest you but probably not. If it was the result of the fancy of an... More 

Helpful?
Thank ClanRF
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016

This seems to be always open, the exhibits seem to change reasonably frequently and children seem to be encouraged to partake in organised activities. The toilets are free, clean and well stocked with soap and hand cream and you can just walk in and use them, admiring the art work on your way.

Helpful?
2 Thank VEDay
Marks Tey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016

Its very quiet at Firstsite, but then it always is. In fact today there is more staff than visitors...!! But then it always is like that.

Helpful?
2 Thank Mark E

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?