Turner Contemporary Art Gallery
Location: Margate, Kent, UK
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery takes maximum advantage of its dramatic setting on the sea front at Margate in Kent, England.
Taking inspiration from the British landscape painter JMW Turner, who was a regular visitor to Margate throughout his life, the Turner Contemporary gallery is situated on the site of a guesthouse frequented by the artist.
Positioned on a plinth to protect against flooding, the building comprises six interlocking rectangular forms and has a strong sculptural presence on the site. The building looks out to the sea, connecting it to the town and capturing the same unique light that inspired Turner.
The areas were surrounded by water, meaning extra luminosity at the horizon over the sea and a more vivid rendering of colours at sunrise and sunset, due to the moisture in the air. In order to catch this changing spectrum, bounced from the water, the galleries are organised with a north-facing clerestory – raised up high so as not to interfere with the artwork – and a panel in the centre of the pitched ceilings to catch the southern light, creating an ambient balance.
These lightwells have a diffusing glass layer at roof level, with a stretched PVC membrane at the ceiling, and house recessed fluorescent bulbs, controlled by a photocell to come on when the daylight fades.
Technical info: PVC Ceiling
Picture credits: Chipperfield Architects