The new Tate Modern

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the new Tate Modern will soon open to the public, connecting Southwark with the Thames and doubling its gallery space.

Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern © Iwan Baan
The new Tate Modern will open to the public on Friday 17 June. The new Switch House building is designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the original conversion of the Bankside Power Station in 2000. With a new entrance to The South, and a direct north-south passage, taking people from the Thames through the existing building and the Turbine Hall out to a new city plaza to the south on Sumner Street and from there on to Southwark, the development will connect Southwark with the Thames and provide much improved open, public space.
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern
The architects carved a path through the jungle of unusually numerous parameters that must be taken into account. The resulting paths and connecting lines, gradually acquired shape, condensing into a pyramidal form generated from the combined geometries of the site context and existing building. The clover-shaped dramatic subterranean oil tanks are at the heart of these plans and they are a point of departure for the new building.
Herzog & de Meuron, the Tanks, Tate Modern. ©Tate Photography
Herzog & de Meuron, the Tanks, Tate Modern. ©Tate Photography
As well as doubling the gallery space, The Tate Modern Project will create a diverse collection of public spaces dedicated to relaxation and reflection, making and doing, group learning and private study. These spaces are spread over the building and linked by a generous public circulation system rising through the building. The vertical orientation of these spaces is clear in the same way that a horizontal orientation is evident in the first phase of the Tate Modern.
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern
Using the same base palette of bricks and brickwork in a radical new way, H&dM created a perforated brick screen through which light filters in the day and through which the building will glow at night. The brickwork also reacts to the inclined faces of the form by stepping to approximate the pure geometry. With both of these simple actions, texture and perforation, the brickwork is transformed from a solid and massive material to a veil that covers the concrete skeleton of the new building.
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch House, Tate Modern
This continuous wrap of perforated brickwork is broken through the introduction of horizontal cuts to allow for views out and to provide for daylight and natural ventilation to the internal spaces. The location of these cuts is in direct relation to the internal programming and planning of the building. The result is a new yet symbiotic reading that is distinct and unique along the skyline of London.

The Tate Modern, London
Program: museum
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler (Partner in Charge), Harry Gugger (until 2009)
Project team: John O'Mara (Associate, Project Director), Kwamina Monney (Project Manager), Ben Duckworth (Associate), Christoph Zeller
Client: Tate
Site Area: 40,127sqm
Number of levels: 11
Footprint: 2905 sqm
Completion: 2016

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