The gallery, which Dezeen showed designs for back in October, is intended to withstand the corrosive effects of the seaside environment, including the occasional high wave.
The ground floor accommodates a reception area, event space and cafe while the exhibition spaces are on the first floor, benefitting from natural north light.
The gallery will have no permanent collection, but will feature temporary exhibitions combining historic and contemporary works, with a focus on the work of artist JMW Turner (1775-1851).
Photography is by Richard Bryant.
Here are some more details from the gallery:
Turner Contemporary opens 16 April 2011
Margate’s new Turner Contemporary gallery, one of the largest and most important spaces for art outside London, opens to the public on Saturday 16 April 2011.
The gallery will be opened by one of Margate’s most famous residents, Tracey Emin, with the musician Jools Holland and a group of local schoolchildren.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect, David Chipperfield, winner of 2007 RIBA Stirling Prize and RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, the opening of the new gallery is one of the most anticipated cultural events of 2011.
Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary said:
“I am thrilled to be opening the gallery on 16 April. It will be a momentous day for both Turner Contemporary and Margate and the moment we open the doors and see visitors entering this fantastic new building will be very special.”
Taking inspiration from Britain’s best-known painter, JMW Turner who was a regular visitor to Margate throughout his life, the gallery is situated on the sea front on the site of a guesthouse frequented by the artist. To mark this connection there will always be works by Turner on display in the gallery.
John Kampfner, Chair, Turner Contemporary said: “The opening of Turner Contemporary marks the start of an extraordinary opportunity for Margate and Thanet to become one of the UK’s most compelling culture and tourism destinations. I would like to pay tribute to Kent County Council and our other partners for delivering this outstanding building on time and on budget.”
Turner Contemporary’s exhibitions programme shows a unique combination of contemporary art alongside historical work, demonstrating a particular focus on the art, thought and the legacy of JMW Turner.
The opening show Revealed: Turner Contemporary Opens explores the themes of imagination, discovery, wonder and the creative spirit. Centred on JMW Turner’s extraordinary but little-known painting The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains, in the Island of St Vincent, at Midnight, on the 30th of April, 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane, Esqre 1815, on loan from Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool, the exhibition will feature new commissions by Daniel Buren, Russell Crotty, Ellen Harvey and Conrad Shawcross, together with selected works by Teresita Fernández and Douglas Gordon.
The opening exhibition will be followed by:
- Nothing in the World but Youth (17 Sep 2011 - 8 Jan 2012)
An exhibition exploring how youth experience has been reflected in art, culture and the media from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
- Hamish Fulton: Walk (17 Jan - 6 May 2012)
Hamish Fulton's first one-person show in the UK since 2002, will include new work made as the result of the group walks in Kent that we commissioned in the lead up to the opening of Turner Contemporary.
- Turner and the Elements (28 Jan - 13 May 2012)
The gallery’s first major exhibition of works by JMW Turner a collaboration with Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg and National Museum, Cracow, exploring the important role that the depiction of the elements played in Turner’s landscapes, watercolours and late paintings.
Mike Hill, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: "I have been involved since the very beginning and I am immensely proud of the hard work of so many people who have worked tirelessly to reach the opening day.
It is a magnificent building which will provide many different opportunities for local people and visitors from far and wide, to come and enjoy what is on offer and help build the local economy of Margate and East Kent."
Sally Abbott, Regional Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We’re proud to support Turner Contemporary, and we’re looking forward to the year ahead with its programme of high quality international contemporary art. Turner Contemporary will be integral to local life and vital to regeneration, with long lasting benefits for the community. Great art enriches lives, and this gallery will help more people experience and be inspired by the arts.”
Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of the South East England Development Agency and Chair of the Margate Renewal Partnership, said: "The opening of Turner Contemporary is a huge step into the future for Margate. As an international venue, it will bring an exciting buzz to the town and create new opportunities for the people of Margate and the local economy. With the recent letting of the former M&S building in the town centre and the plans for Dreamland, it is a landmark in our work to regenerate and revitalise Margate. The project has been a great example of collaboration and we hope it will demonstrate how the arts and culture can stimulate regeneration, and we are proud our £4m investment has supported the creation of this world class Gallery."