Page 20

Retrospective

Completed: summer 2016. Big names: Herzog & De Meuron, architect. First featured: summer 2016, issue 16.

THIS PAGE: Completed two-and-ahalf years ago, Tate Modern’s Switch House has extended what is perhaps the UK’s most popular art gallery.

The transformation of Bankside power station into Tate Modern could be seen as the catalyst for the transformation of the whole area. Opening in summer 2000, it is now one of London’s top tourist attractions, with 5.7 million visitors last year, more than double the number it was designed for. To both expand capacity by 60% and show exhibitions that would not have previously been possible, the gallery commissioned an extension – the 10-storey Switch House, which was named after the erstwhile part of the power station. A folded and latticed exterior encloses 2,000sq m of above and below-ground galleries – including three underground concrete oil tanks, converted into performance spaces back in 2012 – as well as a roof terrace. Key to the new design is the absence of columns, plinths and barriers, providing a huge amount of flexibility in displaying artwork, while sculptures can be freely walked around, so as to be enjoyed as the artists originally intended.

As well as allowing the gallery to totally re-hang its free collection – displaying 800 works by more than 300 artists from over 50 countries – Switch House also integrates digital technologies more fully into the experience, with new interactive spaces, the Timeline of Modern Art touchscreen and the Digital Drawing Bar.

SWITCH HOUSE AT TATE MODERN

Also increasing the gallery’s reach is the experimental Tate Exchange programme, occupying an entire floor. This collaboration with 50 organisations runs events and projects using art to address wider issues in the world and bringing artists together with charities, community radio stations, universities and healthcare trusts.

20 issue 20 winter 2018

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22/11/2018 10:51

Profile for 3Fox International Ltd

Southwark magazine #20  

Over 20 issues, Southwark magazine has covered the transformation of the London borough, showcasing the influential buildings, strong commun...

Southwark magazine #20  

Over 20 issues, Southwark magazine has covered the transformation of the London borough, showcasing the influential buildings, strong commun...