The site and structure
Firstsite is built on a steel frame, and clad entirely in TECU Gold – a malleable copper-aluminium alloy that had to be applied by hand by a team of 20 plumbers!
The site is Scheduled Ancient Monument land, with archaeological artefacts buried beneath. This meant a ‘no-dig’ policy: conventional foundations could not be dug. Instead, the vast 3,200 square metre building floats on a concrete raft foundation which required no deep excavation.
The site is directly south of the eighteenth-century Grade I Listed East Hill House, which Firstsite faces across a D-shaped garden that lends it its crescent shape, and whose Grade II gothic folly was separated from the house in the mid-twentieth century by the construction of a bus station.