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London | The Switch House and the New Tate Modern 2016

Place: London, Country: United Kingdom
Architectural design:
Herzog & de Meuron, Basel
Client: Tate Gallery, London
Text by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit
Photos by Inexhibit. Additional images courtesy of Tate

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The Switch House, photo by Matt Brown (April, 2016)

2016: The New Tate modern in London

While approaching the Tate Modern after crossing the Thames by the Millenium bridge, a visitor can hardly imagine what is currently happening behind the glorious former Bankside Power Station which is the house of the celebrated London museum since 2000.

An impressive faceted construction is rising day after day and, when we visited the Tate Modern in mid-September 2014, its final shape was substantially completed, letting people easily imagine how much this addition will be both imposing and intriguing.
Now, as in October 2015, the structure is completed and interior fit-out works and external finishing are ongoing. Tate announced the grand opening of the new Tate Modern for June 17, 2016.

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Tate Modern expansion Herzog de Meuron June 2016 01b


Tate Modern expansion Herzog de Meuron June 2016 04b

Above: The Switch House, photos by Matt Brown (April, 2016)

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Tate Modern London extension Herzog de Meuron September 2014 10


New Tate Modern Herzog de Meuron Inexhibit 02


New Tate Modern Herzog de Meuron Inexhibit 01

The Switch House.Top, middle down and bottom photo © Inexhibit (September 2014), middle up © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron

The new building will provide the Tate with about 242,000 square feet (22,500 square meters) of additional gross internal area that will accommodate exhibition spaces, education rooms, performance spaces, offices, catering and retail spaces, panoramic terraces, as well as a car parking and two brand new urban spaces.

To design the expansion, Herzog & de Meuron architects reunited with designer Jasper Morrison and landscape architect Günther Vogt, thus re-creating the team that in 1995 conceived the original renovation project of the Tate Modern.

The 11 floor levels, 65 metres high, extension will be connected to the old building at level 1 and 2 and through a pedestrian bridge at level 5.
The £ 260-million addition will be clad with red bricks to harmonize its appearance to that of the former Bankside Power Station.

To improve sustainability and reduce the impact on the environment, waste heat recovery, groundwater cooling and geothermal heat pump-based heating and cooling have been adopted.

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Tate Modern London extension Herzog de Meuron September 2014 11


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New Tate Modern London Herzog de Meuron

Top and middle photos ©  Inexhibit. (September, 2014) Middle: Tate Modern Project, exterior view from the south © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron, bottom © Tate Photography

The new building, called Switch House, is not simply an expansion, it will completely redefine the Tate Modern complex morphology and logic.

Indeed, the Turbine Hall gigantic space will become the core of the museum, bordered on the north by the 6-story Boiler House and on the south by the new 10-story Switch House.

Therefore, the exhibition galleries layout will be completely redesigned to provide a great depiction of art from the origin of modernism to the present day across the whole world, from the established centres such as Berlin, Paris, London and New York, to emerging ones like Tokyo, São Paulo, New Delhi, Bangkok and more.

New Tate Modern London functional scheme


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New Tate Modern Mark Rothko

From top to bottom: New Tate Modern functional scheme © Peter Saville with Paul Hetherington and Morph; Cildo Meireles, Babel, 2001 and The Turbine hall at Tate Modern, Photos © Inexhibit;  Mark Rothko, Seagram Murals, Tate © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko/DACS – Tate Photography

The objective behind the Tate Modern redesign and expansion is clearly expressed in the words by Chris Dercon, Tate Modern director: ‘Art is one of the most dynamic and engaged forms of human behavior, and when people step into a museum today, they don’t want to step out of their life, they want to get closer to it. The new Tate Modern will be so much more than a container for art, it will be a platform for human encounters.’

The new Tate Modern will open with a special preview for school children on June 16, just one day before the public opening.

Tate Modern opening June 2016


New Tate Modern London opening

 top: photo © Tate Photography; bottom: © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron


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The Tate Modern in London is a renowned museum of modern and contemporary art, housed in former power plant redeveloped after a design by architects Herzog & de Meuron


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