The new Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art (Goldsmiths CCA) held a ‘topping out’ ceremony on 23 April 2018 to celebrate that its building is now weathertight.
The Goldsmiths CCA, set to open to the public on 8 September 2018, will form part of the redeveloped Grade II listed Laurie Grove baths and adjoining water tanks, based in the heart of the Goldsmiths, University of London campus in New Cross.
To mark this important milestone in the project, Goldsmiths CCA Director Sarah McCrory and Warden of Goldsmiths, Patrick Loughrey were joined by the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock and Councillors Obajimi Adefiranye, Joan Millbank, and Paul Maslin for tours of the building and the cutting of a metal plate to be turned into a commemorative plaque.
Open to local people, students, and visitors from around the world, the Centre is expected to attract 15,000 visitors in its first year resulting in an estimated £100,000 windfall for local businesses. There are also plans for an innovative programme led by an education curator that will feature a series of events and visits for local schools.
Originally opened in 1898, the Laurie Grove baths have seen multiple uses including as a dance hall, swimming baths and washhouse. Goldsmiths acquired the entire baths in 1999, converting them into studios and teaching rooms for students. The gallery has been constructed from the steel water tanks that supplied the old pools – completing the cycle of renewal that began in 1999. Initiated by Professor Richard Noble, the Goldsmiths CCA has eight galleries which utilise the existing spaces in the tanks and basement, alongside newly-built gallery spaces to create a unique and diverse building.
Goldsmiths CCA will host four main exhibitions in its first year with work from video artist Mika Rottenberg, the late photographer Alexis Hunter, contemporary artist Kris Lemsalu, and 1960s pioneers The Chicago Imagists.
In March 2019, the Centre will present the first significant UK exhibition in almost 40 years of work by 1960s pioneers the Chicago Imagists. The group, known for its distinct and lively style, is famed for its influence on some of the most important artists of the 20th Century.
Patrick Loughrey, Warden of Goldsmiths said: “This is an important moment in this project as we breathe fresh life into a building that celebrates Laurie Grove baths and its unique history. It means that we are almost ready to begin a new chapter, one where this building will continue to serve the community but now as a space to show world-class art exhibitions, building on the strength of Goldsmiths as a creative powerhouse that inspires and nurtures each new generation of artistic talent.”
Sarah McCrory, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art Director, said: “At a time when many spaces for art are disappearing it is really nice to be part of creating a new public art gallery not just for Goldsmiths but for audiences locally, across London, and internationally, putting Lewisham on the international art map. We are committed to showing the very best artists, group exhibitions, new commissions and historical works here in New Cross, as well as exciting free talks and events, family days and workshops; ensuring that this is a space for everyone - open to people of all backgrounds and ages.”
The total cost of Goldsmiths CCA is projected to be £4m supported by generous gifts from alumni, trusts, foundations, and friends of the university. Goldsmiths extends its heartfelt thanks to its community of donors without whom this project would not have been possible.
More about the Goldsmiths CCA programme in our news story and further information on the Goldsmiths CCA website.