On June 17, England’s Tate Modern art museum reopened to the public after a major renovation by Swiss architecture agency Herzog & de Meuron. The firm, who originally converted the Bankside Power Station into the museum, has rearranged (and reimagined) the space’s most popular collections and newest acquisitions.
The Tate Modern was inaugurated in 2000 and has created a substantial impact on the development of the South Bank in London. One of four Tate galleries around the country, it yearly attracts around 5 million visitors.
“Our aim was to create a building conglomerate which appears as one thing, not as a phase one and a phase two,” stated Jacques Herzog, half the namesake architect team. The new entrance takes people from the River Thames through the existing building and the Turbine Hall out to a new open plaza.
The refurbished museum will offer visitors 60 percent more space to view artwork from some 50 countries. The international acquisition program has become even more ambitious in recent years, offering up a collection of photography, performance and film, and more works by female artists.
Turbine Hall will be at the heart of the new Tate Modern, with the existing six-story Boiler House on one side, featuring the rehung collection of some 800 works by over 300 artists, all accessible for free. The museum also incorporates more interactive features like the digital Drawing Bar, and an innovative app to widen the museum’s reach.
The new 10-story Switch House has a striking 360-degree panoramic view of the London skyline from its rooftop-viewing terrace. Below are unconventionally shaped gallery spaces that form the foundation of the building. The architects’ objective was to refer back to the old power station, with its rough and industrial aesthetic, while creating the opposite of the white cube gallery with direct and raw materials.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, stated that the museum “is a shining example of the capital’s status as global leader in the arts, continually finding creative ways of supporting artists and reaching new audiences.” Alistair Hudson, a Tate partner, concurred, saying, “Museums and galleries are where we tell the story of our culture. Tate Modern has established itself as the one of the world’s principal amplifiers of human creativity that has infected and shaped our understanding of art and its role in society… connecting, supporting and reflecting the complex networks of creative endeavour that sustain us all.” —Relaxnews
Learn more information on the new Tate Modern here.