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£17M or bust for Turner centre construction told

New designer focusing on budget as well as art as gallery moves onshore
Keeping Margate's troubled Turner Contemporary art gallery to its £17M budget is top priority on the project, the client told NCE this week.

The original seaside gallery was intended to be located offshore and was famously scrapped last year (NCE 23 Feb 2006) after costs rocketed from £17M to £48M.

This increase was due to the risks involved with building the structure in a harsh marine climate.

The new design is notably more conservative, situated onshore on the site of a car park, with the aim of opening in 2010.

The emphasis of the design has changed from taking elements of nineteenth century artist and former Margate resident and JMW Turner's crashing waves to harnessing the way he conveyed light and drama in his paintings.

"It's a really exciting two-storey building which makes the maximum use of light entering the building," said Kent County Council cabinet member for communities Mike Hill.

"Turner was a greater painter of light and the new design will make the most of this."

Hill has procured the contract completely differently to that used on the previous design to ensure that costs are kept down.

This time, architect David Chipperfield and engineer Arup have been employed to produce a scheme for £17M in consultation with the public.
The building will be clad in recycled glass and raised 1.8m above ground level to avoid coastal flooding.

The project will be out to tender next May with construction starting in autumn next year.

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