Case Study: The Tate Modern

European Springs has a long, proud history of producing high-quality springs and wire forms, and recently we’ve also been involved in creative projects and new and exciting partnerships.


An example is our work with Liberty in London, as we’re always interested in trying new things. Another one of our latest projects has no doubt allowed us that opportunity!

Our location in Beckenham was approached by James and Taylor Ltd, experts in rainscreen cladding and façade engineering, to develop a spring mechanism that would be part of the security supporting an anti-climb zone on the new Tate Modern, which opened on the 17th June 2016.

When Stuart McSheehy, Managing Director here at European Springs, said that ‘this really was a race against the clock as the scaffolding on the Tate Modern was being removed and James and Taylor’s anti-climb installation had to be implemented within days’, he wasn’t kidding!

We had a very limited time frame to deliver our springs to the client, but we absolutely relished the pressure. The overall project included the development of retaining clips for holding face plates onto corbels on the Tate Modern – these face plates cover approximately the first 15 metres up around the base of the gallery to establish an anti-climb zone.

Our part in this safety measure was the creation of a mechanism in the form of fixing clips. We had previously worked on the design of these clips with the client, so they were already developed and sampled, but we were very surprised when we were told we only had ten days to complete the project!

This is because the scaffolding was coming down sooner than expected, and James and Taylor found themselves without these clips, meaning the installation of the anti-climb zone appeared to be unlikely to be completed without delays. Adding to this, the designs of the clips had to be modified to fit better with the project.

Once design was finalised, we found out that our material suppliers, Staystrip Group Ltd didn’t have the necessary materials on hand for this project, so they had to work overtime to provide them. We then laser-cut the blanks for the spring clips and tested them, and eventually ended up with a two-part mechanism with a top and bottom spring.

John Champion, Design Director at James and Taylor, came in person on Saturday morning to collect the 650 springs we had for him, and was over the moon at how quickly we had been able to complete the project – and beyond happy with the quality and sturdiness of the clips.

As he put it: ‘Stuart and his team could not have been more dedicated to delivering our brief. We appreciated it was a really tight turnaround but they were fearless and achieved the near impossible – securing high numbers of an exceptional quality of products and in a matter of days too.’

Being involved in this project was a true pleasure, as we couldn’t be happier about delivering our springs to such a world-renowned art gallery and making our client happy! All of our team members at European Springs understand the importance of quality in the work we do, as precision and reliability are key elements in creating springs and wire forms. After all, without these values, we could never have accomplished this successful project!

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