Turner Contemporary \

At the heart of Margate’s cultural regeneration

An exciting opportunity to support one of the UK’s leading art galleries consolidate itself at the heart of the regeneration of Margate’s waterfront.

The Challenge

Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries.

Situated on Margate seafront, on the site where Turner stayed when visiting the town, the Turner Contemporary presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities.

We were commissioned to help Turner Contemporary develop a master plan to explore how a vibrant cultural offer can help regenerate the surrounding area, from the Harbour Arm through to the Rendezvous Site.

The Big Idea

Our approach was to consider four site scenarios - each focussing on how a different stakeholder group might kick-start the regeneration process. They were:

1. Entrepreneur-led
What if the space was filled with cheap and cheerful kiosks, recycled sheds housing restaurants, studios and short-let shops, and all sitting alongside high-end bespoke houses facing the harbour and a boutique hotel catering for luxury and budget, short and long-term guests? Turner Contemporary would be integrated across the site by providing pop up art installations in the hotel, and in vacant sheds.

2. Education-led
What if the Turner Contemporary teamed up with a leading college or university to develop a satellite campus specialising in creative courses? With close proximity to the gallery the two institutions could share expertise, facilities and even introduce student residences.

3. Gallery-led
What if the area surrounding Turner Contemporary became a hub for the creative arts? The breadth of spaces could be used as additional gallery spaces, artist studios, technical facilities and even a market for the creative entrepreneur to sell their pieces.

4. Harbour-led
What if the harbour was brought back to life with commercial fishing boats and private moorings? The working harbour would attract, pop up restaurants and training kitchens, food markets and exchanges. Over time the area could become the destination for art and food lover short getaways, enabling a hotel to be developed.

We imagine that a more varied development with mixed stakeholders may well be the most viable and favourable path forward.

The Rendezvous and Harbour Arm site represents some of the most important real estate in Margate. With Turner Contemporary leading Margate’s cultural regeneration, we believe there is an excellent opportunity to maximise the gallery’s impact and to realise the potential of this special site on Margate’s waterfront.

Project Summary

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