Locations

Armada Way
Artists: Nilbar Güreş, Tommy Støckel
The central pedestrian thoroughfare in Plymouth’s post-war city centre, constructed as part of Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s ‘Plan for Plymouth’ (1943), was envisaged as a grand “garden vista – a parkway making use, with terraces, slopes, steps, pools, avenues and other contrasting features, of the varying levels”. Today it has become a timeline of different visions of the future, from the 1950s ‘Brutalist’ architecture of post-war reconstruction to the 21st century global brand stores, along with the empty premises of Austerity Britain.

House of Fraser
Artists: Yan Wang Preston, Liu Chang
Originally called Dingles, this was the first new post-war department store anywhere in the UK, opening on 1 September 1951. It was seen as a sign of a new modern Plymouth - even having the city’s first escalator. A fifth floor was added in 1961 and then a sixth after the fire of 1988 (when it was firebombed by animal activists protesting against the sale of fur). It was recently announced that the Plymouth branch of House of Fraser will be closing in 2019.


Civic Centre
Artists: Hito Steyerl, Vermeir & Heiremans, Kiluanji Kia Henda
As part of the post-war plans to rebuild the city, Plymouth's Civic Centre was designed by city architect Hector Stirling in the International modernist style and was opened by the Queen on 26 July 1962. It is a fourteen-storey concrete and glass tower block, with a 'butterfly' roof canopy and an attached two-storey block to the north. The tower housed the offices of the various municipal departments of the city council, as Plymouth’s main administrative centre. The top storey was originally the Rooftop Restaurant, which was open to the public, but closed in 1975. By the 21st century the city council felt it was too expensive to maintain though. Plans to demolish the building were scrapped when the building became Grade II Listed in June 2007. It was eventually sold to the developers Urban Splash in 2015 for one pound, who plan to refurbish the building.


Council House
Artists: Donald Rodney
Adjoining the Civic Centre, the Council House is the seat of local government, providing a number of assembly rooms such as the Lord Mayor’s Parlour and Reception Room as well as the Council Chamber and committee rooms. Opened by the Queen in 1962, the Council House is a prominent example of 1960’s post-war modernist architecture, built from Portland stone and local Plymouth limestone.


The Dome

Artists: Shezad Dawood
Plymouth Dome was built in 1988 as a new museum and tourist attraction, with a variety of themed galleries covering the history of Plymouth, as well as two observation galleries overlooking Plymouth Sound. The Queen visited the building on 20 July 1988, unveiling a plaque to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The museum operated from 1989 to 2006, when it was closed by the city council due to falling visitor numbers. It re-opened as a restaurant in 2013.


Drakes Island

Artists: Postcommodity
Situated in Plymouth Sound, this 6.5-acre island has hosted a military fortification since at least the Tudor period. It was from here that Francis Drake set sail in 1577, returning in 1580 having circumnavigated the world. In 1583 Drake was made governor of the island. Following WWII Drakes Island remained under the administration of the War Office. Plymouth City Council obtained a lease from the Crown in 1963, establishing a youth adventure training centre which operated until 1989. In 1995, Drakes Island was put up for sale by the Crown Estate, and it was acquired privately for £384,000, with plans to turn it into a hotel complex. However, planning consent was only finally granted in April 2017, and in the meantime the island has remained out of bounds to the public.


Millennium Building
Artists: Ryoji Ikeda, Carl Slater
Originally opened in 1931 (as the Gaumont Palace cinema), the former Millennium nightclub (also known as The Warehouse), along with the notorious clubs and bars of Union Street, became a mecca for clubbers across the UK in the 1980s and 90s, before finally closing in August 2004. The building's fluted columns and tiled foyer immediately attracted attention when the Gaumont Palace opened, whilst inside the auditorium a mighty Compton organ had been installed at a cost of over £6,000 which entertained the audiences during intervals.


KARST

Exhibition: I AM MY OWN PRIMAL PARENT
KARST is the largest independent contemporary art venue in Plymouth, comprising a free public gallery space and artists’ studios. KARST was founded in 2012 in the industrial Millbay area of the city and aims to be a test-bed for experimentation: from conceptually complex group shows proposed by international curators to projects focussing on individual artists or artistic collaboration. As a charitable organisation, KARST focuses on working in partnership with cultural organisations, artist groups and creative individuals through curated exhibitions, events and critical dialogue, in order to support the cultural growth of Plymouth and the South West.


The Clipper
Artists: SUPERFLEX
One of Plymouth’s most famous venues and the city’s first 24-hour public house, The Clipper opened in 1877. A much-frequented meeting place on Union Street - when the city’s notorious strip of pubs and clubs was in its heyday during the 80s and 90s - the pub was finally closed in 2015 and has lain empty until 2018, when the local community in Stonehouse took it over, led by the grass-roots organisation, Nudge Community Builders. This social enterprise has transformed The Clipper into a quirky marketplace and cafe downstairs, where people can rent a space to sell, make or test an idea in addition to social housing upstairs. The front of the building has been transformed with patterns inspired by Foulston - the original architect that worked on Union Street - and given a contemporary twist. A local community, leading regeneration in their area, one building at a time.


Royal William Yard

Artists: Jane Grant + John Matthias, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carrol, Keren Ruki, Chang Jia, Uriel Orlow
Opened in 1835, occupying 16 acres of purpose-designed buildings at Devil’s Point, where the River Tamar meets Plymouth Sound, this was the main victualling yard for the Royal Navy for more than 150 years, until its closure in 1992. In recent times, in what is the largest collection of Grade 1-listed former military buildings in Europe, has been redeveloped by Urban Splash.


National Marine Aquarium
Artists: Ursula Biemann, Bryony Gillard
Opened in May 1998, with the charitable aims of research, education and conservation, NMA is the largest aquarium in the UK, driving marine conservation through engagement. Built on reclaimed land in Sutton Harbour, next to the barbican and Plymouth’s historic fish market, the Aquarium is divided into four main zones: Plymouth Sound, British Coasts, Atlantic Ocean and Blue Planet. A visit to the aquarium goes from the local waters of Plymouth to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.


Immersive Vision Theatre
Artists: Space Interface
The University of Plymouth’s IVT facility was originally founded as the William Day Planetarium, opening its doors in 1967, but was transformed through HEFCE’s Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) programme. After an internal refurbishment, it was reopened by scientist and broadcaster Adam Hart Davis in 2008, around the same time as its management was taken on by i-DAT (Institute of Digital Art & Technology). Once inside, audiences of up to 40 can be exposed to ‘full-dome architecture’ with images generated digitally through a high-resolution projector, fitted with a fisheye lens and connected to customised powerful computers. A ten-speaker audio system completes the immersive experience, also allowing the venue to be used for sophisticated musical performances.