263 THE TANKS

263 The Tate Modern Project The Tanks London, UK Competition 2005, project 2005-2012, realization 2010-2012

 

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When we first visited the Tanks in 1994 on a tour of the former power station we were so impressed and excited by this dark and rugged world, that since then we have always seen the Tanks as the one area in the Tate Modern that we would keep as original as possible. The Tate Modern expansion has allowed us to revisit the Tanks and from the beginning Tate’s and our objective for this new project has been to fuse the extension with the power station’s past and history, so that like the original conversion, it would always refer back to the building as it once was, which was rough and industrial. The clover-shaped dramatic subterranean Tanks are now at the heart of the expansion plans and they are the point of departure for the new building. When we converted the power station into the Tate Modern we dug out the Turbine Hall in order to turn the vast physical dimensions of the existing structure into a tangible reality. This time, the Tanks form the foundation of the building as the new volume develops and rises out of the structure below. They are not merely the physical foundation of the new building, but also the starting point of intellectual and curatorial approaches that have changed to meet the needs of a contemporary museum at the beginning of the 21st century. These curatorial approaches require a range of gallery spaces, both larger and smaller, along with spaces of less conventional shape, scale and materialisation. The Tanks are underground spaces sculpted from raw concrete with a strong sense of roughness and immediacy and in direct opposition and therefore a perfect addition to the existing galleries.

The visitor will enter the “as found” spaces directly off the Turbine Hall through a wide slot in the existing southern wall which reveals further layers of the old power station and provides direct access to the new ticketing and information area. A newly cut opening into the following 3,2 meters thick retaining wall forms the entry into a transition gallery from which the Transformer Galleries, the East Tank and South Tank are accessed. Our intervention in these found spaces is as subtle as possible. A meticulous mapping process of the existing concrete walls and ceilings revealed damages and conditions where careful patching was needed. The original patina with all its stains, marks and discolouration was preserved and the new concrete blends subtly into the overall patchwork. A row of new and inclined concrete columns penetrate the space and introduce a moment of structural force of what will be built above over the next years. To provide access to the found spaces we cut new openings into the raw walls and left the edges exposed as an evidence of our intentional manipulation. In the East Tank the existing cast iron columns are kept and filled with concrete to provide additional structural strength. The South Tank will primarily be used for performing arts and large installations. To allow for this and to introduce a greater degree of flexibility we replaced the original column grid with four new concrete columns. All installations and lighting grids are exposed and detached from the ceiling to form an independent grid of infrastructure inserted into the existing spaces.

The Tanks and Transformers galleries are the opposite of the white box gallery, spaces where you are aware that you are underground, rich with texture and history, and uncompromisingly direct and raw, providing the viewer, artist and curator with new and different contexts and experiences completing the variety of spaces for art in the Tate Modern Project.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2012

QUOTES

"The Tanks should not be seen as an annexe but as the roots of something to come: they are not just an addition to what exists, or a decorative feature, but something really fundamental to Tate’s vision. The spaces they provide may seem different, but if you consider them within the entire complex of the museum they will complete the variety of spaces, both old and new, as they are completely unique."
Herzog & de Meuron, 2012

FACTS

The Tanks:
The Tanks will be open until October (18 July – 28 October 2012). The opening of the Tanks is Phase 1 of the Tate Modern Project - the new building will be completed by 2016 at the latest.

Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler (Partner in Charge)
Project Team: Ben Duckworth (Associate, Project Director), John O'Mara (Associate, Project Manager), Christoph Zeller (Project Architect), Donald Matheson (Project Architect)

Abdulfatah Adan, Roman Aebi, Israel Alvarez Matamoros, Jayne Barlow, Michael Bekker, Ann Bertholdt, Abel Blancas, Marinke Boehm, Emi Bryan, Frederik Bojesen, Catriona Cantwell, Michael Casey (Associate), Mark Chan, Sofia Chinita Janeiro, Oliver Cooke, Massimo Corradi, Corinne Curk, Dorothee Dietz, Gemma Douglas, Corina Ebeling, Martin Eriksson, Francis Fawcett, Elizabeth Ferguson, Francisco de Freitas, Thomas von Girsewald, Harry Gugger (Partner), Volker Helm, Lela Herrling, Arnaldo Hernandez, Pasqual Herrero, Daisuke Hirabayashi, Dara Huang, Kasia Jackowska, Sara Jardim Manteigas, Simon Johnson, Jihoon Kim, Yuichi Kodai, Pawel Krzeminski, Tomoyuki Kurokawa, Alexandre Massé, Olivier Meystre, Kwamina Monney, Cynthia Morales Castillo, Ingrid Moye Verduzco, Martin Nässén, Dominik Nüssen, Benjamin Olschner, Mónica Ors Romagosa, Dirk Peters, Callum Pirie, James Pockson, Maki Portilla Kawamura, Georg Rafailidis, Tanya Rainsley, Jan Andreas Reeg, Miguel del Rio Sanin, Rebecca Roberts, Jeannine Roschi, Philipp Schaerer, Chasper Schmidlin, Günter Schwob, Mónica Sedano Peralta, Lorenz Selim Lachauer, Jad Silvester, Karolina Slawecka, Heeri Song, Peter Stec, Tom Stevens, Kai Strehlke (Head Digital Technologies), Sanja Tiedemann, Paul Vantieghem, Fabio Verardo, Christian Voss, Wim Walshap (Associate), Marta Yebra, Camia Young, Claudia Zipperle, Christian Zöllner

Client:
Tate Trustees, London, UK

Client Representative:
GTMS, London, UK

Plannning:
Architect Planning, Architect Construction: Herzog & de Meuron, London, UK
Structural Engineering: Ramboll, London, UK
Construction Management: Mace, London, UK
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon, London, UK
HVAC, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering: Max Fordham, London, UK
Landscape Design: Vogt Landscape Architects, Zurich, Switzerland

Specialist / Consulting:
Access Consultant: David Bonnett Associates, London, UK
Acoustic Consultant: RPS, Brighton, UK
Approved Inspector: MLM, London, UK
AV/IT Consultant: Shen Milson & Wilkie, London, UK
Catering Consultant: Ken Winch Design, London, UK
CDM Coordinator: Cyril Sweet, London, UK
Civil Engineering: Ramboll, London, UK
Design Manager: Garbers & James, London, UK
EIA Consultant: URS, London, UK
Façade Consulting: Ramboll, London, UK; Billings Design Associates, Dublin, Ireland
Façade Access & Maintenance: Reef Associates, London, UK
Fire Engineering, Lighting Consultant: Arup, London, UK
Furniture Consultant: Jasper Morrison, London, UK
Office Consultant: Sevil Peach, London, UK
Planning Consultant: Drivers Jonas Deloitte, London, UK
Project Manager: GTMS, London, UK
Pigeon Control: Haag-Wackernagel, Basel, Switzerland
Retail Consultant: UXUS, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Security Consultant: MFD International, London, UK
Signage & Wayfinding: Cartlidge Levene & Studio Myerscough, London, UK
Visitor Flow Consultant: Colin Buchanan, London, UK
Waste Management: Buro Happold, London, UK

Building Data:
Site Area: 40,127sqm / 431,924sqft
Building Footprint, Tanks: 5,800 sqm / 62,431 sqft
Building Dimensions: Length 86 m / 282 ft; Width 64m / 210ft; Height 64m / 211ft
Gross Floor Area, Tanks (GFA): 5,800 sqm / 62,431 sqft
Number of Levels: 1 below ground (with 1 service tunnel)

Figures:
- Floor Area by Programme:
- Display 2,031sqm / 21,862sqft
- Learning 150 sqm / 1,615 sqft
- Social 85sqm / 915sqft
- Visitor Services 486sqm / 5,231sqft
- Circulation 1,336sqm / 14,380sqft
- Back of House 840sqm / 9,042sqft
- Plant 872sqm / 9,386sqft

Dimensions:
- Transformer Gallery 1: 14.4 x 9.6 x 7.2m (3.9 underside of beams)
- Transformer Gallery 2: 14.4 x 9.9 x 7.2m (3.9 underside of beams)
- Transformer Gallery 3 (Drum): 5.5 diameter x 7.2m
- East Tank: 29.8 x 31.5 x 6.5m
- South Tank: 31 x 31.5 x 6.9m (5.7 underside of beams)


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Rachel Spence: Into the Void. Tate Modern has converted giant former Fuel Tanks into Underground Chambers in which to Stage Dance, Film and Installations.
In: Financial Times. Financial Times Weekend. Europe. Vol. No. 37985, London, The Financial Times Ltd, 21.07.2012. p. 13.

Jackie Wullschlager: Thoroughly Modern.
In: Financial Times. Financial Times Weekend. Europe. London, The Financial Times Ltd, 14.07.2012. p. 3.

Calvin Tomkins: The Modern Man. How the Tate Gallery's Nicholas Serota is reinventing the Museum.
In: The New Yorker. Vol. No. 19, New York, The Condé Nast, 02.07.2012. pp. 54-63.

Rowan Moore: You should have seen it before. It may just look like a lot of old Concrete, but the Conversion of the Oil Tanks beneath Tate Modern is a Work of Art in its own Right.
In: The Observer. London, Guardian Newspapers Limited, 01.07.2012. p. 30.

Nicholas Serota: The Tanks I.
In: Bice Curiger (Ed.). Tate etc. Visiting and Revisiting Art, Etcetera. Vol. No. 25, London, The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery, 2012. pp. 58-59.

The Tanks at Tate Modern. Fifteen Weeks of Art in Action. The Tanks Programme Notes. Edited by: Simon Grant. Exh. Cat. The Tanks at Tate Modern. 15 Weeks of Art in Action. London, Great Britain. 18 July - 28 October 2012. London, Tate Trustees, 2012

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