Yesterday I was lucky to have the opportunity to take part in a tour of the new Firstsite building that is rapidly going up in Colchester. I’ve watched it grow over the last few years and I was really pleased to get the chance to have a look inside.
We had to don hard hats, high-viz jackets and steel toe-capped wellies because it’s still a working building site, but it’s very clear its going to be just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The curve of the walls and the height of the building are very clear and dramatic.
We saw where the Berryfield Mosaic is going to be. The roman mosaic was discovered in the 1920’s and has been been on display in Colchester Castle ever since. It’s now going back to the spot where it was originally laid – so when visitors sit over their coffee and cake in the Firsite cafe they’ll be relaxing and talking to friends like the Romans did 2,000 years ago.
We had a chance to view the education rooms and look out on to the grounds and the back of East Hill House – a view that’s been hidden for many years. There’s also an audiortium – it was strange to see it half finished – it will be really interesting to visit it when its finished. There are plans for films to be shown and live performances .
The opening is planned for September – when there will be a chance for everyone to visit and help turn the building into a cultural centre for the town.
Before then – if you get a chance to go on a tour as part of a group take the opportunity – it’s fascinating to be inside such an impressive building as its actually being built around you.