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Abstract thinking


THE TURNER Contemporary (previously named the Turner Centre) is around 60 m x 20 m, and roughly 40 m tall. It's shape, although intentionally abstract, is reminiscent of a submarine conning tower.

'We wanted to capture the motion that Turner was playing with in his paintings.We wanted to make people experience the wind and waves, ' says architect Stephen Spence.

When the tide is in, the water will lap the building at 4.5 m above the beach level.When it is out visitors will be able to walk around the whole structure.

'It should have the appearance of melting into the sand, ' adds Mr Spence.

The gallery will link to a more conventionally shaped restaurant, shop and office complex on the pier, which will be restrengthened.

To access the gallery visitors will walk under a covered walkway on the pier, which has been left open to the elements.

The Turner has three internal floors.The upper most of which will be naturally lit.Windows will be on the seaward side.

Because it will be housing irreplaceable works of art, and visited by the public, it is being designed to withstand the force of a one in 10,000 years storm.Wave modelling has been commissioned by Arup Marine - and carried out by specialists HR Wallingford.

'The major forces on the piles will be lateral forces, ' says Mr Mohsen.