gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark

fortress house museum by gamma architects in gibraltar


Opening in Autumn 2025, Fortress House is a new contemporary art museum that will be a major addition to the cultural landscape of Gibraltar. Set in the historic old town and spanning 2,700 square meters, this colonial-era landmark was once used as an 18th-century residence for the Governor of Gibraltar and is one of the last of its kind in the city. Today, local firm Gamma Architects is carefully masterminding its refurbishment and expansion. Once open to the public, the museum’s collection will explore the individual’s relationship with society and the pressures that shape identity. 

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
Fortress House, a contemporary art museum | rendering © Gamma Architects



a women-led permanent art collection & educational program


The centerpiece of the Fortress House  museum programming is its permanent collection. Primarily comprised of contemporary art from 1970 onwards, it addresses societal relationships and identity shaping, often met with continuous pressures. Featured works are predominantly by renowned women artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Michael Craig-Martin, Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Hew Locke, Sarah Lucas, Zanele Muholi, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and Rebecca Warren. Beyond fostering more inclusivity, the museum by Gamma Architects (see more here) will also develop a dynamic program of displays and exhibitions, with plans to work with guest curators. Future plans include solo exhibitions, thematic surveys, and collection displays loaned from other private institutions.

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
the project is set to complete in Autumn 2025 | rendering © Gamma Architects


The museum’s program extends beyond exhibitions to its 200-square-meter arts center, Fortress Studio, equipped with facilities for art workshops, courses, and talks. This center will offer a hands-on, creative, and accessible experience through educational programming catering to all age groups — namely, collaborations with local schools, businesses, and communities, which will form a cornerstone of the museum’s outreach, providing individuals with opportunities to acquire new skills and cultivate their art-related interests.

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
reviving an 18th-century landmark | rendering © Gamma Architects



sustainably reviving an historical Georgian building


Design-wise, Fortress House by Gamma Architects will revive the historical Georgian building through sustainable design and adaptive reuse with modern additions, preserving traditional features such as rhombus tiling and grand fireplaces. The museum will feature multiple entrances to ensure visibility and accessibility for all. With gallery space occupying the top three floors, Fortress House will have the capacity to accommodate ambitious exhibitions with space for large-scale works. Each gallery is designed with state-of-the-art conservation conditions and lighting systems, four-meter-high ceilings, and large volumes. The northwest gallery room on the first floor will especially stand out, with a dramatic double-height space intended for monumental installations. 


The building’s rooftop will continue the art displays throughout, complete with a sculpture garden and terrace with open views of the local scenery. Additionally, the garden will connect to Gibraltar’s ‘Green Lung’, contributing to the government’s climate change strategy for more green spaces.



rendering © Gamma Architects

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
© Sarah Lucas, OOPS!, 2019, concrete, bronze, steel & acrylic paint, 86 x 75 x 84 cm, edition 5 of 6 | courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London & Fortress House | image © Robert Glowacki

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
© Tracey Emin, And Everything Was Beautiful, Even me, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 205.7 x 279.4 x 4.8 cm | all rights reserved, DACS 2022 | image courtesy the artist & Fortress House


© Grayson Perry, Expulsion from Number 8 Eden Close, 2012, wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester & silk tapestry, 200 x 400 cm, edition of 6 plus 2 APs | courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro & Fortress Hous

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
© Denzil Forrester, In Homenow, 2022-2023, oil on canvas, 274.5 x 202.2 cm | courtesy the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, New York & Fortress House | image © Todd-White Art Photography

gibraltar to welcome 'fortress house' art museum inside an 18th-century landmark
© Rebecca Warren, Bon Voyager, 2023, hand-painted bronze on MDF trolley on painted MDF plinth, 1 of 2 casts, each painted uniquely + 1 artist copy | courtesy the artist, Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | London | Paris & Fortress House | image © def image


© Hew Locke, The Procession, Group K, 2022, plastic, cardboard, fabric, wood, paper, metal & mixed media, dimensions vary with installation | courtesy the artist, Hales London & New York, P·P·O·W & Fortress House | all rights reserved, DACS 2024 | image © Colin Davison


project info:


name: Fortress House museum 

location: 7-9 Cathedral Square, Gibraltar

architecture: Gamma Architects (here) | @gammaarchitects
Gamma team: Ruth Massias Greenberg, MartaGarcia, Ana Santos, AgneArlauskaite

mechanical engineer: AMA Services Ltd

sustainable energy engineer: Sustainabuild

lighting specialist: ERCO

acoustic engineer: Acoustic Consultants Ltd

IT specialist: Synergy

structural engineer: nosa

project manager: Carduus Limited

site area: 1017 sqm 
planned total area: 2700 sqm

museum area: 1700 sqm 
Fortress Studio area: 200 sqm

cafes area: 260 sqm 

rooftop garden area: 250 sqm 

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