The Weston is a £3.6 million new gallery, shop and café for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Built on a the site of a former quarry within the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th-century Bretton Estate, The Weston has been designed to carefully sit within this historic landscape and have a minimal impact on its surroundings. Inspired by land art works by Michael Heizer and Robert Morris, the building creates a clear threshold as both an entrance and a destination extending the visitor experience to the east of the 200 hectare park. 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.
Constructed from layered, pigmented concrete which evokes the strata of the site’s sandstone bedrock, the building emerges from the ground of the former quarry and is defined by a concrete saw-tooth roof. A scalloped fibreglass crown creates a modest, glowing beacon in the landscape at night.
The new gallery, which will showcase a changing programme of temporary exhibitions, features fair-faced concrete walls and is lit from above by a series of roof lights positioned within the concrete structure. Within the walls of the gallery are 10,000 unfired clay bricks which provide a pioneering low-energy environmental control system maintaining the gallery’s internal conditions while also reducing the need for air conditioning.
Constructed from a Douglas Fir timber frame, the café space contrasts with the mass of the concrete of the gallery and has a more homely and inviting feel with a wood burning stove and furniture specifically chosen to give a more domestic atmosphere.
“The new centre is a reflection of our ambition to increase long-term resilience and sustainability by building audiences, further developing our artistic programme, and increasing visitor income. We are very grateful to the many different organisations who have made this project possible, including our visitors who have provided invaluable support.”
– Peter Murray CBE, Executive and Founding Director of YSP