The Invisible Ladder - Art For Art's Sake

The Invisible Ladder - Art For Art's Sake

01st July 2015

Here at Safety Fabrications we’re very proud of some of the innovative and creative solutions we’ve provided for clients, especially those who are looking for a bespoke solution.  One of the solutions we provided that has really caused excitement is at the new Turner Gallery in Margate, Kent.  The new Turner Contemporary Gallery is one of the largest and most important spaces for art outside London and opened in April, 2011. 

The Gallery was designed by internationally acclaimed architect, David Chipperfield who won the 2007 RIBA Stirling Prize and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (definitely no moaning about a “monstrous carbuncle” from the Prince of Wales then). The Turner Gallery is situated on the sea front on the site of a guesthouse that was used by artist JMW Turner who visited Margate on a regular basis.

While there are always paintings by Turner on display in the Gallery, it also hosts exhibitions that display a unique combination of contemporary art alongside historical works and demonstrates a specific focus on the art, thought and legacy of Turner himself. The Gallery was opened by one of Margate’s most famous residents, Tracey Emin while Jools Holland and a group of local schoolchildren providing the music for the event.

The opening show at the Gallery was “Revealed: Turner Contemporary Opens” and explored themes of discovery, imagination, wonder and the creative spirit. The exhibition revolved around a little known work by Turner, The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains, in the Island of St Vincent, at Midnight, on the 30th April, 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane. The painting was loaned to the Gallery by the Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool and the exhibition featured works by six major international artists Russel Crotty, Teresita Fernandez, Ellen Harvey, Daniel Buren, Conrad Shawcross and Douglas Gordon.

The building is comprised of six rectangular, interlocking forms to provide a strong sculptural presence, clad in white opaque glass. The roofline forms a stunning silhouette an enables northern light to enter the gallery spaces on the first floor level. For this reason, an invisible access ladder was deemed necessary for regular maintenance work so Safety Fabrications was called in to ensure that the access ladder would not “spoil” the overall look of the building.

Our expert team of engineers worked closely with the architects to ensure that safe access to the Gallery roof was provided, a particular challenge in this seaside town where exposure to harsh conditions and the salt-laden atmosphere can cause problems. Why not check out this short video to have a look at just how invisible the ladder on the Turner Gallery is?