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The Tate Gallery expands with “The Switch House”


The new Tate Modern, one of London’s most emblematic buildings, opened its doors on 17 June with the enlargement undertaken by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Ever since the contemporary art gallery established itself in the year 2000 in the old Bankside power station, on the banks of the Thames, a series of buildings—such as apartment buildings—had risen around it that did not fulfil a clear social function given that most of them were uninhabited or in disuse.

The architect Jacques Herzog states that they analysed various options before hitting on the solution for the project: a brick structure that integrates the new and existing parts in an organic manner. According to Herzog, “visitors had to find themselves inside a museum with different spaces and atmospheres, not in a museum with an added wing”.

The annexe, denominated “The Switch House”, is an impressive ten-storey tower that expands the gallery’s size by 60% while offering spectacular vistas of the city from the top-floor terrace. The two buildings combined will house 800 works by 300 artists from 50 countries.


London SE1 9TG. United Kingdom

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