We were approached by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead who were looking to supply wheelchair access to part of their art gallery. The Baltic Centre is a converted flour mill located on the soutbaek of the River Tyne in Gateshead. The local landmark plays host to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and holds several world renowned exhibitions. In fact the mill was the first venue outside of London and Liverpool to host the Turner Prize in its 25 year history. The client wanted an access solution that would provide both the necessary access for all visitors but also be in keeping with the BALTIC's contemporary design. A compliant ramp would require at least 6 metres of slope to get over the 500mm rise across the split floor levels.
In order to create a simple solution that wouldn't disrupt the interior of the building with a more traditional platform lift we designed a small hidden scissor step lift. The step lift would firstly rise above the height of the 3 steps between the galleries then travel across to the upper floor level and then lower slightly to meet the floor level. The total travel for the lift was 5o0mm vertically followed by 700mm horizontally, the lift has a maximum load of 450kg so can easily take a wheelchair and even the heaviest of electric mobility scooters. The lift was finished with the same hardwood flooring as the gallery and so disappears into the floor when not in use. The lift was installed in a day and was ready to use by mid afternoon the same day.
To see more of our hidden platform lifts click on the following links:
Location: Tyne and Wear
Year Completed: 2012