Tate Modern, London
The Tate Modern in London is a museum of modern art, part of the Tate network in England, together with the Tate Britain, the Tate Liverpool, and the Tate St. Ives.
Located in the Bankside district, on the southern embankment of the River Thames, the museum was opened on May 12, 2000, with a view to present works by almost all major modern and contemporary artists.
The museum is housed in the former Bankside Power Station, an imposing brick-clad building designed by architect Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1950s, redeveloped after a design by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. The renovation project is widely considered one of the best examples of the conversion of a disused industrial building into a modern cultural venue.
Possibly the most iconic space of the museum, the Turbine Hall on the ground floor, which once accommodated the electric generators of the power plant, is a monumental open space with an internal height of about 20 meters / 55 feet; it is frequently used as a gallery for large temporary installations by contemporary artists.
A view of the Tate Modern building from the Millenium Bridge. Photo © Inexhibit
Tate Modern, cross section looking east; the Turbine Hall is the 4-story-high space in the center. Image Herzog & de Meuron
The 2016 extension
In 2016, the Tate Modern has been expanded through a 22,500-square-meter / 242,000-square-foot extension, once again designed by Herzog & de Meuron called the Switch House.
A 65-meter-high 11-story brick-clad tower connected to the old building at level 1 and 2 and through a pedestrian bridge at level 5, the extension contains exhibition spaces, education rooms, performance spaces, offices, spaces for catering, retail stores, panoramic terraces, and a parking garage.
The extension also included the redevelopment of three underground oil tanks into spaces for art performance and interactive installations, known as The Tanks.
The “Switch House” extension of the Tate Modern complex, opened in 2016 and designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo © Iwan Baan.
What to see at the Tate Modern
The permanent collection of the Tate Modern is housed at the third and fifth levels, while the second and fourth floors are used for temporary exhibitions.
Comprising over 70,000 artworks, the collection includes masterpieces by modern and contemporary artists such as William Blake, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, John William Waterhouse, William Turner, Claude Monet, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalì, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Piet Mondrian, Edvard Munch, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon, Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, and Anish Kapoor, to name a few.
The program of activities and events of the Tate Modern features temporary exhibition, conferences, lectures, workshops, research programs, live performances, guided tours, and special events. The building of the museum, fully accessible to physically impaired people, also contains cafes, a panoramic restaurant, and three shops.
The Turbine Hall gallery on the ground floor of the former Bankside Power Station building. Photo © Inexhibit
The Turbine Hall with Richard Tuttle’s installation “I Don’t Know. The Weave of Textile Language”, 2014. Photo © Inexhibit
Two interior views of the Switch House extension. Photos © Iwan Baan.
The Turbine Hall book and gift shop. Photo © Inexhibit
Bloomberg Connects is a network of interactive kiosks and digital installations spread across the Tate Modern. Photo © Inexhibit
Cover image: Tate Modern, the north facade facing the River Thames. Photo © Inexhibit
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The New Tate Modern in London, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opens on June 17, 2016 after an architectural expansion and a complete exhibition redesign
Bloomberg Connects, an ensemble of interactive digital projects supported by Bloomberg, is active from September 2013 at the Tate Modern in London
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