Herzog & de Meuron
Competition
2005
Project
2005-2012
Realization
2010-2016

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 development will add another decisive dimension to the architecture and environment of this quarter and beyond. With a new entrance to the South, and a direct North-South passage, taking people from the Thames through the existing building and the Turbine Hall out to a new city plaza to the South on Sumner Street and from there on to Southwark, the new development will connect Southwark with the Thames and provide much improved open, public space.

Tate Modern is the world’s most visited museum of modern and contemporary art. In its next stage of development the vision is to establish a new model for museums of modern and contemporary art, by fully integrating the display, learning and social functions of the museum, strengthening links between the museum, its locality and the city.

In close collaboration with the Tate, we carved a path through the jungle of unusually numerous parameters that must be taken into account. The resulting paths and connecting lines, gradually acquired shape, condensing into a pyramidal form generated from the combined geometries of the site context and existing building. The clover-shaped dramatic subterranean oil tanks are at the heart of these plans and they are a point of departure for the new building. When we converted the power station we dug out the Turbine Hall in order to turn the vast physical dimensions of the existing structure into a tangible reality. Here, the oil 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 for intellectual and curatorial approaches which have changed to meet the needs of a contemporary museum at the beginning of the 21st century. These approaches require a range of gallery spaces, both larger and smaller, along with ‘As Found’ spaces of less conventional shape, and better facilities for the gallery’s popular learning programmes.

As well as doubling the gallery space, The Tate Modern Project will create a diverse collection of public spaces dedicated to relaxation and reflection, making and doing, group learning and private study. These spaces are spread over the building and linked by a generous public circulation system rising through the building. The vertical orientation of these spaces is clear in the same way that a horizontal orientation is evident in the first phase of the Tate Modern.

At the same time we felt it was important for the building to be visible from the North. As one approaches the Tate Modern from the river, the new Switch House can be seen rising behind the power station without competing with its iconic chimney. Integrating the new building into the existing urban fabric has been fundamental to the project, as well as integrating it into the skyline of the city and ensuring that visitors both inside and outside could orient themselves.

We wanted the combined elements of Tate Modern, old and new, to be expressed as a whole, we wanted to have them come together and function as a single organism. Using the same base palette of bricks and brickwork in a radical new way, we created a perforated brick screen through which light filters in during the day and through which the building will glow at night.

The brickwork also reacts to the inclined faces of the form by stepping to approximate a pure geometry. With both of these simple actions, texture and perforation, the brickwork is transformed from a solid and massive material to a veil that covers the concrete skeleton of the new building. The façade changes in appearance depending on the observer’s point of view, not just from transparent to opaque, but also in pattern and orientation. This continuous wrap of perforated brickwork is broken by the introduction of horizontal cuts to allow for views and provide daylight and natural ventilation to the internal spaces. The location of these ‘cuts’ is in direct relation to the internal programming and planning of the building. The result is a new yet symbiotic reading that is distinct and unique along the skyline of London.

Herzog & de Meuron, 2016

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Process

In 1994 Herzog & de Meuron were commissioned to convert the old Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern.

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The new museum initiated breakneck development in the once neglected district of Southwark and is now to be extended.

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A reduction in the space needed to maintain the local electricity supply means that the former oil tanks and part of the back area can be used as gallery spaces.

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The extension not only creates a new entrance and turns the museum into the crossroads that it was always intended to be, it also provides space for restaurants, a shop and education facilities.

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The first design envisages a tower of glass boxes stacked one on top of the other, with rooms that are consistently visible from the outside.

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The architects create a closer relationship between the extension and the existing building. They decide on a more closed form, rising from a trapezoidal footprint and terminating in a square, and on brick as the material for the facade. The museum stands out from the surrounding commercial architecture.

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Stairs and walkways connect the main Tate Modern building and the extension, creating a single coherent organism.

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The extension adds a greater variety of spaces to Tate Modern: from quiet cabinets to the spectacular interiors of the repurposed oil tanks.

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The architects select brick for the facade; a newly developed brickwork system creates a differentiated language that both distinguishes the old from the new and unites them as one.

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Pairs of bricks are bonded in advance and laid in a staggered pattern. Their rectangular shape facilitates the process.

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The concrete structure of the new tower evolves from the foundations of the oil tanks and is supported by additional columns.

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Old and new brickwork on the extended Tate Modern turns it into a single, harmonious entity.

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In a first for the museum world, the Tanks — with their raw interiors and unusual shapes – introduce new possibilities for the presentation of a range of different art forms. Visitor routes and exhibition spaces in the extension combine to form a varied architectural promenade with both open and intimate spaces.

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Text excerpts from: Mack, Gerhard, Herzog & de Meuron: “No. 263 The Tate Modern Project.” Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2004. The Complete Works. Volume 5, Birkhäuser, Basel, 2020, pp. 116–125

Drawings

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Team

Partners
Project Team
John O’Mara (Associate, Project Director)
Kwamina Monney (Project Manager)
Benjamin Duckworth (Associate)
Christoph Zeller
Abdulfatah Adan
Roman Aebi (Workshop)
Marta Alonso Yebra
Israel Alvarez Matamoros
Renata Arpagaus
Shayan Bahluli Zamani
Jayne Barlow
Peter Karl Becher
Michael Bekker
Alexander Berger
Ann Bertholdt
Abel Blancas
Marinke Boehm
Frederik Bojesen
Vincent Bowman
Blanca Bravo Reyes
Emi Jean Bryan
Catriona Cantwell
Michael Casey (Associate)
Mark Chan
Edman Choy
David Connor
Oliver Cooke
Massimo Corradi (Digital Technologies)
Corinne Curk
Duarte De Azevedo Coutinho Lobo Antunes
Joseph Dejardin
Dorothee Dietz
Stefan Dobnig
Gemma Douglas
Benjamin Duckworth (Associate)
Corina Ebeling
Samir Tarek El Kordy
Martin Eriksson
Joris Jakob Fach
Francis Fawcett
Elizabeth Ferguson
Alexander Franz
Francisco de Freitas
Mario Gasser
Giuseppe Giacoppo
Andrew Gibbs
Thomas von Girsewald
Luis Gisler
Stefan Goeddertz (Associate)
James Grainger
Jennifer Gutteridge
Volker Helm
Arnaldo Hernandez
Pasqual Herrero
Iela Herrling
Johannes Hilfenhaus
Daisuke Hirabayashi
Fabienne Hoelzel
Dara Huang
Kasia Jackowska
Sofia Chinita Janeiro
Sara Jardim Manteigas
Simon Johnson
Jihoon Kim
Yuichi Kodai
Pawel Krzeminski
Tomoyuki Kurokawa
Lorenz Selim Lachauer
David Leech
Kenan Liu
Áron Lőrincz (Visualisations)
Johnny Lui
Alexandre Massé
Donald Matheson
Olivier Meystre
Cynthia Morales Castillo
Ingrid Moye Verduzco
Ingrid Moye Verduzco
Martin Nässén
Dominik Nüssen
Julian Oggier
Benjamin Olschner
Mònica Ors Romagosa
Chi Won Park
Dirk Peters
Callum John Pirie
James Pockson
Maki Portilla Kawamura
Catherine Preiswerk
Georg Rafailidis
Tanya Rainsley
Holger Rasch
Andreas Reeg
Steffen Riegas (Digital Technologies)
Kathrin Riemenschnitter
Miguel del Rio Sanin
Rebecca Roberts
Jeannine Roschi
Philipp Schaerer
Chasper Schmidlin
Harald Schmidt
Günter Schwob (Workshop)
Mónica Sedano Peralta
Jad Silvester
Karolina Slawecka
Iva Smrke
Iva Smrke
Heeri Song
Henriette Spoerl
Peter Stec
Tom Stevens
Kai Strehlke (Digital Technologies)
David Tatxé
Sanja Tiedemann
Raúl Torres Martín (Visualisations)
Paul Vantieghem
Fabio Verardo
Christian Voss
Wim Walschap (Associate)
Camia Young
Mika Zacharias (Visualisations)
Claudia Zipperle
Christian Zöllner

Facts

Client
Tate
Planning
Lead Designer: Herzog & de Meuron, London, UK
Landscape Design: Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich, Switzerland
Cost Consulting: Aecom, London, UK
Project Management: Gardiner & Theobald Management Services, London, UK
Services Engineering: Max Fordham Consulting Engineers, London, UK
Services Engineering (2005-2007): Arup, London, UK
Structural Engineering (2005-2007): Arup, London, UK
Structural Engineering (from 2008): Ramboll UK, London, UK
Specialist / Consulting
Facade Consulting: Billings Design Associates, Dublin, Ireland
Facade Consulting: Ramboll UK, London, UK
Lighting Consulting: Arup Lighting, London, UK
Wayfinding and Signage: Cartlidge Levene with Morag Myerscough, London, UK
Retail Planning: Uxus, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Furniture Consulting: Jasper Morrison, London, UK
Building Data
Site Area: 431'923 sqft, 40'127 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 254'028 sqft, 23'600 sqm
Net floor area: 233'070 sqft, 21'653 sqm
Number of levels: 11
Footprint: 31'269 sqft, 2'905 sqm
Length: 282 ft, 86 m
Width: 209 ft, 64 m
Height: 209 ft, 64 m
Gross volume (GV): 4'099'683 cbft, 116'090 cbm
Facade surface: 126'906 sqft, 11'790 sqm
Links
www.tate.org.uk

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1997-2001. The Complete Works. Volume 4.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2008. Vol. No. 4.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Herzog & de Meuron 2003-2019. (Vol.2),” Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2019.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografias. Herzog & de Meuron 2013-2017.” Vol. No. 191-192, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2016.

Julien Rose: “Spectator Sports. Julian Rose on the New Tate Modern.” In: Michelle Kuo (Ed.). “Artforum.” Vol. No. 55, New York, Artforum, 09.2016. pp.328-335.

“Herzog & de Meuron. New Tate Modern.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva Proyectos.” Vol. No. 075, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 2016. pp. 53-67

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografías. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2013.” Vol. No. 157/158, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 09.2012

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

Fernando Márquez Cecilia; Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2010. Programme, Monument, Landscape. Programa, Monumento, Paisaje.” Vol. No. 152/153, Madrid, El Croquis, 2010.

“Herzog & de Meuron. Tate Modern 2, London.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva Proyectos.” Vol. No. 27, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2008. pp. 24-27.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007. 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Location