Burberry Fashion Show, Tate Modern

CLIENT: Lady Roy

TRAD Scaffolding Contractors recently completed an exciting project at the Tate Modern in London. It was unusual compared to their more typical access solutions, as the scaffolding structure was to be used by performers during the Autumn/Winter 2019 fashion show for luxury brand Burberry. Twenty-seven tonnes of equipment was erected within the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern – a vast industrial space that is dedicated to performance and installation art.

TRAD were approached by client Lady Roy, as they were aware of TRAD’s Plettac Metrix System Scaffold, which fitted the concept of the fashion set. The scaffolding system was a perfect solution for the 1.5m long bays of scaffolding, which were erected in a splay to form a circular performance structure 75.00m long x 6.50m high. The scaffold was screw jacked to the ceiling, with approximately 500m2 of wire chain link fencing installed to the face. Over 40 performers climbed the scaffold during the fashion show, so additional brackets and tubes were used to create hand and foot holds. The finished structure was very striking, and tremendously received.

From procurement and design, through to installation and dismantling, TRAD were proactive at all stages. The build had a very fast turnaround time – the erection process was completed in just 5 days, and the dismantling took 2 days. Whilst the build was taking place at the Tate Modern, TRAD also simultaneously erected a 6.00m long x 6.50m high scaffold in a rehearsal space in Parsons Green. TRAD Divisional Director, Craig Hayes commented, “We incorporated changes on this rehearsal structure following requests from our client, such as additional bracketry and fencing cut-outs, which were then implemented on the final structure at the Tate Modern. It was a very fast-paced process for the team.”

Throughout the entire process, TRAD were reactive to the client’s needs, such as multiple layout changes, installing and later removing over 200 x rolls of gaffer tape to cover up any painted surfaces of the equipment and overcame challenges that the event space presented, such as restrictions with unloading deliveries. TRAD utilised a large labour force to turn around the project in such a short space of time; 4 lorry loads of materials were unloaded and moved over 100m in a total of 8 hours. There were also restrictions regarding the floor at the art gallery, so Correx and plywood was used throughout the delivery and clear to fully protect the artwork flooring throughout.

James Owers, Production Manager, complemented the expertise of TRAD Scaffolding: “TRAD were reactive from the minute we approached them to assist with this technically challenging and creative project. In just 10 days they had taken our brief, designed, engineered and then delivered a large structure into a technically demanding building with its own set of complexities. At every step of the process they were responsive and offered the teams’ years of expertise to ensure the success of the project. Special mention to Alan, Gabriel and Bartosz who took every little change and demand on the chin and just got on and dealt with it. Alan has the patience of a saint and is an excellent ambassador for TRAD, which is very highly thought of with all the Event Teams who have come into contact with the team that worked here.”


Photo credit: Ståle Eriksen

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