Great Tapestry of Scotland Gallery
Scottish Borders Council / Live Borders
Channel Street, Galashiels
Internal Floor Area
A special room to re-connect a nation.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland was designed by Andrew Crummy to a narration researched and written by Alistair Moffat, with the grand vision imagined by Alexander McCall Smith.This beautiful tapestry is a linear pictorial history of Scotland depicting key events going back 12,000 years.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland Gallery in Galashiels will become the permanent home of the world’s longest tapestry designed to narrate the nations history.
Currently on site, the dramatic geometric roof design is inspired by the unique roofscape of towers, dormers, gables and pitched roofs that define the architectural character of Galashiels. The subtle articulation and detailing of the stone façade nods to the fine stonework of the adjacent Post Office building, as well as numerous other handsome stone buildings within the town. The palette of colour and texture in the interior design reflects the nuance and detail of the tapestry itself, as well as the rich textile heritage of the Borders.
The intention is to create a unique building rooted in its physical and historical context, with a special room at its heart holding the history of Scotland carefully embroidered by the hands of over 1000 stitchers.
The existing Post Office dates from 1895 and is now Category B Listed and located within the Galashiels central Conservation Area. As one of the noteworthy buildings in the town, it consists of a 2-storey stone building facing onto Channel Street with a single-storey, brick built sorting office to the rear. The ground floor will be converted to accommodate a house an education room and retail area, whilst the first floor will house the staff accommodation.
At 143 metres (469 ft) length, a special, significant room was required to house its display. The first floor gallery design takes cues from the verticality of the existing Post Office building and is a modern interpretation of this elevational treatment. Relief and texture combine to provide a weaving effect on the façade, hinting at the display material inside.
The projecting entrance into Channel Street lures the visitor into the generous open plan ground floor where the reception, café, shop and temporary gallery can be found. The tapestry is displayed in a radial arrangement on the first floor where the diagonal views across the gallery allow the visitor to experience each corner of Galashiels through tall glazed windows. The central rooflight and break out space gives you a space to pause on your journey around the tapestry.