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IN TRANSITION

PHOTO FEATURE

Critics and leading magazines have flocked to endorse the Tate Modern extension. By Michael Rothenborg Photo by Daniel Shearing

It all started with the Tate Modern,” wrote ‘The Economist’ under the headline ‘Home of the Brave’, when, after an ambitious rebuilding, London’s great museum gallery reopened in June 2016. The article highlights that Tate Modern was originally a power plant whose turbine hall was transformed into a huge exhibition space – a world’s first that museums and galleries have copied in cities around the world – in Milan, San Francisco and Shanghai to name but a few. Tate Modern continues to push the boundaries of how a museum looks – and how it is built. Now standing 10 storeys tall, the new EUR 350 million transformation offers visitors an enhanced experience with a 60% increase in display space. Appointed by the Trustees of Tate, Ramboll played an integral role in helping to realise the Tate’s vision for the extension, which is built on top of three disused oil tanks, two of which create new, unique gallery spaces. Herzog & de Meuron’s architectural vision has a brick façade that envelopes the truncated, twisting pyramid structure. The corners are column free, emphasising the continuity of the surface while also providing a 360° view of the River Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard and the city beyond. In total, the building was clad with 336,000 bricks between August 2014 and February 2016, an installation process that used a new, “all-weather” system. Ramboll’s integral role in Tate Modern’s extension included structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, façade engineering, civil engineering and environmental consultancy. At the opening critics agreed that the Tate Modern is now as brave and innovative on the outside as the inside. “One of the most spectacular buildings London has seen in decades,” commented Robert Bevan, architecture critic for London’s Evening Standard.

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