Client: Margate Coastal Park
Location: Fort Hill Shelter, Margate, UK
Status: Completed 2016
Fabrication: Heather Tate, Rob Knight, Callum Penman
Photography: Claire Orme, Harriet Wrench
Volunteers: Sophie Jeffery, Claire Orme, Liene Cesar, Malcolm Ford

Margate Coastal Park Shelter Intervention

Our proposal for the “Margate Coastal Park Shelter Intervention” seeks to explore possible alternative strategies for the way in which the dilapidated structures might be used in the future. Many of the shelters suffer from poor orientation as well as an austere aesthetic which has led to years of neglect. Rather than proposing that the shelters are renovated with their initial function remaining the same (seating and shelter) we propose that they are used as structural armatures which will facilitate temporary new functions.

Margate International Kite Festival

The Margate International Kite Festival took place for 5 years between 2006 and 2011. The festival was one of the UK’s premiere kite festivals. It was sadly canceled in 2012 citing lack of funding as a cause. This event included kite displays, kite workshops and a kite exhibition. NEON felt that the kite is an important part of coastal life and should be celebrated through a soft relaunch of Margate's Kite Festival. 

The Kite Pavilion

The “Fort Hill” shelter was transformed through the integration of a bright and vibrant kite inspired membrane which provides an iconic and recognisable focal point for the Kite Festival. Each bay of the existing structure housed an open pyramid where each face was assigned a different neon colour. This geometry causes the installation to appear to dramatically change colour depending on your viewing angle in much the same way that a kite changes in appearance depending on its flying angle in the sky. Signage referencing Mary Poppins sits above the shelter reading “let’s go fly a kite!” which is designed to act as an invitation as well as evoke nostalgia.

Exhibition and Workshop

Alongside the installation we ran a 3 day long kite making workshop where visitors were taught how to build and fly a free kite.  The workshops were developed in close association with local Kite group “Kent Kite Flyers”. 

The Kite Pavilion was made possible due to Art's Council funding and was part of an event entitled "A Clifftop Wander" which included a number of different events and installations running along the Margate Coastal Park between the 9th - 11th September 2016