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Opening of the New Tate Modern
LONDON, UK, 14 June 2016 – The new Tate Modern in London opens to the public on 17 June. The display space of the new Tate Modern increases by 60% and will be unveiled with a complete re-hang, bringing together works from the collection with new acquisitions. The new 10-storey Switch House building by Herzog & de Meuron, rising above the found spaces of the tanks, includes new galleries and concourse areas, learning spaces, a restaurant, member’s room and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views over London. It will add another decisive dimension to the architecture and environment of South Bank and Southwark. The facade adopts the traditional architecture of brick public buildings, but uses the material in a radical new way, creating a perforated brick screen that filters light in the day and through which the building glows at night. The Tate Modern, which originally opened in 2000 and was also designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is the world’s most popular museum of modern and contemporary art, attracting around 5 million visitors every year.

Jacques Herzog, Herzog & de Meuron
“Tate Modern has changed London since 2000. The impact it has had on urban design and the development of the South Bank and Southwark, has been as substantial as its influence on the city’s artistic, cultural and social life. The new extension will add another decisive dimension to the architecture and environment of this quarter and beyond. An addition to an existing building is always very difficult, even problematic: some people will like the new part better, others will prefer the old part, some may say, the extension was not necessary; others are convinced of the opposite. We wanted to anticipate such controversial views. Our aim was to create a building conglomerate which appears as one thing, not as a phase one and a phase two”

Pierre de Meuron, Herzog & de Meuron
“We are delighted that the initial concept for the Tate Modern, as envisaged at the time of the first competition in 1995, has become a reality. The original cross-access concept for the museum has been realized with entrances from three different sides: one can access the building and the Turbine Hall from the North, the West and now also from the South side. The new Switch House creates a previously-missing link between the River Thames and the Southwark neighbourhood, and transforms the Southern part of the museum into an active and lively place that includes a new public garden for visitors and pedestrians alike. Inside the museum, the horizontal configuration of the classical galleries in the Boiler House is now enhanced with the vertical boulevard of the new extension, creating a kind of architectural topography through the building that will offer unexpected opportunities for both artists and curators to present art works outside the 'official' display areas of the galleries.”

Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner, Herzog & de Meuron
“Whereas the original Tate Modern was about revealing existing infrastructure, the extension is about building infrastructure; rooted in the oil tanks of the former power station, the new structure caters to a diverse variety of programs and spaces for the display of art, education, and social interaction. Our aim was to create an architecture that allows for flexibility, improvisation, adaptation and change. From the cavernous subterranean tanks dedicated to performance and installation art to the lofty top-lit galleries with their large luminescent ceilings, from a broad ribbon for circulation meandering up through the building to generous day-lit education spaces with artist-in-residence programs and other offers for the visitors to actively explore art. We conceived the new Switch House as a lively civic space including internal streets and plazas framed by a concrete skeleton and enveloped with a brick veil, knitting it back together with the Boiler House to complete and form the new Tate Modern.”