Editor's Note: This article was originally published on 30 June, 2016. While the debate surrounding the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union continues to rage, the Tate remains a steady icon for London and the UK. But the building has also become a symbol in a new fight: one between the capital's elites and the general public. As the political sands in Britain continue to shift, it may be interesting to see how - and with whom - the building aligns in the future. - Katherine Allen, Managing Editor
Tate Modern: The Latest Architecture and News
Residents of London's Neo Bankside residential building—a luxury complex of apartments designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners—have launched a legal bid against the Tate Modern to close one side of a public viewing platform, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and completed in 2016, which overlooks their properties. As reported by the Architects' Journal, "the applicants say that their human rights are being breached due to ‘near constant surveillance’ from visitors to the neighbouring attraction." The claim goes as far to argue that visitors to the Southbank gallery "constantly view their flats through binoculars, and post photographs and film of their homes on social media sites."
London's Tate Modern just got bigger. Last week, the well-known modern art museum opened its new extension to the public. The so-called “Switch House” was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the same firm that designed the successful rehabilitation of the original Giles Gilbert Scott’s Bankside Power Station in 2000.
The museum could not be more satisfied: “It’s a dream,” says Tate Modern’s new director Frances Morris, “We’ve never had such an open space before. The possibilities are endless.” While critics generally approved of the design, they expressed mixed feelings for the addition’s materiality and urban character. Read on to find out more about the views of Frieze Magazine’s Douglas Murphy, The Evening Standard’s Robert Bevan, The Guardian’s Rowan Moore, and The Financial Times’ Edwin Heathcote.
Earlier this week Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Modern, announced that Herzog & de Meuron's extension will officially open on Friday 17th June 2016. The gallery, which originally opened in 2000 housed within a former power station in London's Bankside, dramatically transformed the UK's relationship with modern and contemporary art. Since then, the Tate Modern has become a bastion of trend-setting and high-profile exhibitions, and has grown to be one of London's most visited cultural venues.
Text description provided by the architects. What happens when a designer decides to turn a classic Herzog & de Meuron masterpiece into a carnival space? That's precisely what happened when architect Gia Wolff was asked to create an installation - part of which doubled as a performance piece - for the show Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival in the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. How did she approach transforming such a cultural icon? Three words: red-pink rope.
In an article for London's Royal Academy of Arts Magazine entitled Plane Sailing, Zaha Hadid discusses the influence of Russian Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich on her own design work. In Hadid's early work, such as The Peak Blue Slabs (1982/83), the visual connections to Malevich's strict, regular shapes and lines are evident.
London's Tate Britain, a partner gallery to the Tate Modern (who recently appointed Herzog & de Meuron to design a new extension), recently unveiled Caruso St. John's transformation of the oldest part of the iconic Grade II* listed Millbank building. The £45 million project to restore, renovate and reinterpret one of the UK's most important galleries has been met with a largely positive critical response; read the conclusions of The Financial Times’ Edwin Heathcote, The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, The Independent's Jay Merrick, the RIBA Journal's Hugh Pearman, and the Architects’ Journal’s Rory Olcayto, after the break…
With the success of the Tate Modern (the museum hosts approximately 2 million visitors a year), in 2005, the museum selected Herzog and de Meuron to expand its gallery space by nearly 70%. Since that time, we have shared the transformation of the design which began as an irregularly stacked pyramid of glass boxes to a geometric faceted volume clad in perforated brick. Yet, the expansion plans also include a vital component that is buried underground – the Tanks – which opened earlier this week.
More about the Tanks after the break.