Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary
General information
Town or city Nottingham
Country United Kingdom
Coordinates 52°57′04″N 1°08′45″W / 52.9511°N 1.1458°W / 52.9511; -1.1458Coordinates: 52°57′04″N 1°08′45″W / 52.9511°N 1.1458°W / 52.9511; -1.1458
Completed 2009
Design and construction
Architect Caruso St John Architects
Structural engineer Arup, Elliott Wood Partnership
Services engineer Arup
Main contractor Sol Construction Ltd
Awards and prizes 2010 RIBA Award Winner

Nottingham Contemporary (formerly known as the Centre for Contemporary Art Nottingham (CCAN)) is a contemporary art centre in the Lace Market area of Nottingham, on a site said to be the oldest in the city.[1] To celebrate the area's history of lace manufacture, the cladding of the building is embossed with a traditional Nottingham lace pattern.

Nottingham Contemporary is a registered charity under English law.[2]


The building was designed by the London architects Caruso St John. With over 3,000 square metres of floor space, it is one of the largest contemporary art centres in the UK. The exterior is clad in verdigris scalloped panels with a traditional lace pattern, with large windows that offer direct views from the street into the interior.[1] The building is larger than it appears from the outside, because much of it is sunk into the sandstone cliff that runs through the city centre.

Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest contemporary art spaces in the UK, with four galleries, an auditorium, an education space and a study centre. The building also houses a café-bar and a shop.


Nottingham Contemporary is on the oldest site in Nottingham, Garners Hill, it once housed cave dwellings, a Saxon fort and a medieval town hall – before the Victorians swept all aside for a railway line.[1] It is in the historic Lace Market, a showcase for a world-famous fabric when technical innovation gave lace a mass market. A revolutionary concrete casting technique, carried out in Nottingham, has embossed a lace design into the building’s panels, some up to 11 metres high.

Exhibition programme

Nottingham Contemporary organizes four to five major exhibitions a year, bringing the work of the world’s contemporary artists to Nottingham. The ideas raised by the exhibitions are explored in educational programmes for all ages. The museum opened on 14 November 2009 with an exhibition of early works by David Hockney and recent works by Los Angeles-based artist Frances Stark, including some from the Tate collection. The Hockney exhibition brought together over 60 works from 1960–1970, for the first time in nearly 40 years.


Alex Farquharson served as founding director of Nottingham Contemporary between 2007 and 2015. The museum drew almost 200,000 visitors from 2014 to 2015 (financial year).[3]

See also


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