Architecture & Interior
Tate Modern the Building
One of the most iconic buildings of the London skyline, Tate Modern has grown from a once disused power station to an international hub of modern and contemporary art, with millions of visitors a year. Originally designed by giles gilbert scott, the building with its soaring Turbine Hall and chimney was meant to symbolise a cathedral of pure energy . Unfortunately with the decline of fossil fuels the station fell into disuse until 1994, when Tate acquired the site to showcase its impressive international modern collection. Developed by architects Herzog and de Meuron, the conversion opened on 11th May 2000 and it soon became one of the top 3 tourist attractions in the UK. The building afforded contemporary artists the space to show extremely large-scale works, as showcased in the Turbine Hall s Unilever series, as well as allowing the earlier modern works in the collection a more intimate setting in the galleries on the upper levels. Project spaces also allowed younger artists room to experiment, while the extensive spaces for film and performance created a diverse and ambitious program of events that a traditional gallery space could not achieve. The resounding success of Tate Modern has made way for the next stage of building development. The oil tanks beneath original power station have been converted into dedicated video, performance and installation spaces which opened this July, and Tate Modern 2, a brand new eleven level building next door, creating bright new spaces for temporary exhibitions, seminars, and a media-lab will open in the next five years. This accessible and fascinating book tells the story of Tate Modern from its inception through to its continued development as one of the most exciting gallery buildings ever created.