The Tate Modern Project

003 Image courtesy of Tate Modern

The Tate Modern Project

This new development will transform Tate Modern. It will redefine the museum for the twenty first century, placing artists and their art at its centre while fully integrating the display, learning and social functions of the museum, and strengthening links between the museum, its community and the City. Tate Modern was designed for an annual audience of 2 million visitors. It now receives around 5 million visitors each year. This success has put pressure on our existing facilities and programme. Different kinds of gallery spaces are needed to better display the works in the Collection. Film, video, photography and performance have become more essential strands of artistic practice, and artists have embraced new technologies. Ambitious and imaginative installations are now pushing traditional gallery spaces to their limits. The opening of Tate Modern in May 2000 was intended as the first stage in the development of the former Bankside Power Station. It was always envisaged that the derelict oil tanks and the switch station to the south of the site could eventually be integrated into the gallery.

001Image courtesy of Tate Modern

The electrical switch station is still used to power a large part of the City and South London. EDF, who own the station, are modernising their equipment so it will take up a smaller part of the building. This provides us with the ideal opportunity to expand Tate Modern, with the oil tanks forming the foundation of the new building. The expansion will create a less congested, more welcoming environment. The exhibition and display space will be almost doubled, enabling us to show more of our Collection. There will be more cafes, terraces and concourses in which to meet and unwind. Learning will be at the heart of the new Tate Modern, reflecting Tate’s commitment to increasing public knowledge and understanding of art. There will be a range of new facilities throughout the building for deeper engagement with art: interpretation, discussion, private study, participation, workshops and practice based learning. Tate Modern is part of the neighbourhood. Its presence has made a major contribution to the ongoing revitalisation of Southwark, and it recognises the importance of building strong links with the local community. The Transforming Tate Modern project will be a catalyst for engaging local audiences more deeply and broadening access to the museum. The new development will continue to bolster the growth of the borough.

002Image courtesy of Tate Modern

A public walkway through the building will make possible a direct route from the City to the heart of Southwark. There will be two new public squares to the south and west of the building. To the east, a new planted area will be created especially for the use of the local community and staff. The new building will sit to the south of Tate Modern. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it will rise from behind the power station as a new iconic addition to the London skyline.  The new building will present a striking combination of the raw and the refined, found industrial spaces and 21st century architecture. The façade will use brick to match the surface of the existing structure, while creating something radically new – a perforated brick lattice through which the interior lights will glow in the evening. Windows and the terrace will appear as cuts in the brick surface. The building will rise 64.5 metres above ground in 11 levels, its height responding to the iconic chimney of Giles Gilbert Scott’s power station. If the Turbine Hall was the defining emblem of Tate Modern’s first stage, the vast oil tanks, at the base of the building, will become as closely associated with the new building. These raw industrial spaces will retain their rough-edged atmosphere to become an unforgettable performance and exhibition venue. 

004Image courtesy of Tate Modern

Beautiful new galleries displaying the Collection will have a greater variation of sizes and shapes than the original museum, and there will be a larger space for temporary exhibitionsTate Exchange will enable groups to exchange skills and ideas, there will be new seminar spaces, and a cutting-edge Media Lab. Social spaces will include a new Members Room, a Level 10 restaurant, and a public terrace on Level 11 all with outstanding views across the capital. The building will be a model of environmental sustainability, setting new benchmarks for museums and galleries in the UK. It will draw much of its energy needs from heat emitted by EDF’s transformers in the adjoining operational switch house. With a high thermal mass, frequent use of natural ventilation, and utilisation of daylight, the new building will use 54% less energy and generate 44% less carbon than current building regulations demand.

005Image courtesy of Tate Modern

The architects
Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by five Senior Partners Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron established their office in Basel in 1978. The practice now has additional offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, New York and Hong Kong. Herzog & de Meuron have designed a wide range of projects from the small scale of a private home to the large scale of urban design. While many of their projects are highly recognized public facilities, such as their stadiums and museums, they have also completed several distinguished private projects including apartment buildings, offices and factories. The practice has been awarded numerous prizes including The Pritzker Prize in 2001, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal and the Praemium Imperiale both in 2007.



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