1. Five Ships – Mount's Bay, circa 1928, by Alfred Wallis, oil and graphite on card. 44cm x 5 5.5cm.

Jim Ede's vision lives on

After two years of subtle transformation by Jamie Fobert Architects, the New Kettle's Yard in Cambridge has just re-opened to the public.

Kettle's Yard grew and evolved from the personal passion of the curator and collector, Jim Ede, starting life in 1957 when he opened the doors of his house every afternoon for people to view his collection. In the 1920s and 1930s he had been a curator at the Tate Gallery in London and, thanks to his friendships with artists, he gathered a remarkable collection of works – by Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, David Jones, Joan Miró, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth among others.

2. Self-Portrait, 1927, by Christopher Wood, oil on canvas. 129.5cm x 96cm.

In 1966, Jim Ede gave the house and its contents to the University of Cambridge. In 1970, three years before he and his wife Helen retired to Edinburgh, the house was extended and an exhibition gallery added, both to the design of the architects Sir Leslie Martin and David Owers. Ede's vision was for: 'A living place where works of art could be enjoyed…where young people could be at home unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery.'

3. Andrew Nairne, the current Director of Kettle's Yard.

Now, between the 1970 galleries and the façade of Castle Street, two new galleries and an education suite have been made and a glass entrance area, framed in bronze, has been inserted in the entry courtyard. This allows movement between the galleries, the house and a new café located where offices had once been.

4. Lourdes, 1928, by David Jones, watercolour on paper. 48cm x 61cm.

Architect Jamie Fobert said: 'In his wonderful book, Kettle's Yard, A Way of Life, Jim Ede said: "It starts from the cottage, with a couple of generously wide steps down… and continues… into the very large and comfortably-proportioned new building, which itself develops in easy and individual stages." I read this quote when we first started to work on Kettle's Yard and it has remained a guiding principle in our work. To add on to Leslie Martin and David Owers' beautiful 1970s extension has been both a privilege and a great responsibility. My hope is that our new spaces will feel like a seamless and easy continuation of the Kettle's Yard we all love.'

5. Jim Ede, the creator of Kettle's Yard, in 1972, with Bird Swallowing Fish, 1913, bronze, by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Photograph: Derry Moore.

With the completion of this new development, it is hoped that Kettle's Yard will reach its potential as a world-class centre for engaging with modern and contemporary art in the 21st century.

Andrew Nairne, Director, Kettle's Yard, said: 'This is a proud moment for all of us. It's not just about encouraging people to come to a museum. We want to reinvent the notion of what a museum and gallery can be, and do. I believe Kettle's Yard, with its remarkable collection and vibrant connections with artists of today, can be a beacon for the next generation.'

• (Visit www.kettlesyard.co.uk)
Lindsay Fulcher