The new Tate Modern building designed by Herzog & de Meuron recently opened its doors in London. Originally slated to open in 2012, the building was delayed due to the financial crisis. The Tate Modern Switch House is located on the site of the former power station, and it includes performance areas in spaces that used to be oil tanks.
According to the Tate Modern, the Switch House is “the most important new cultural building to open in Britain since the British Library.” The Switch House will increase the size of Tate Modern by 60 percent with galleries, a panoramic viewing terrace, and the first permanent spaces for live art in old oil tanks. Building materials such as concrete, oak, and brick comprise the Switch House. High ceilings, spiral staircases, and tall thin windows add to the aesthetic.
The Switch House will be the site of a new program Tate Modern is launching later in 2016 called the Tate Exchange. The “open experiment” will take over an entire floor and provide a space for innovative workshops and events. Tate Modern says 50 organizations will be part of the Tate Exchange, including artists, healthcare trusts, charities, universities, and community radio stations. Tate Director Nicholas Serota said it will be a “combination of the Open University, art school, TED talks, and Guardian debates, all wrapped into one.”
The day before the museum opens to all, 3,000 schoolchildren from all around the UK will get to experience the Switch House. They will be the first members of the public to explore the building and artwork inside. Artist Bob and Roberta Smith will welcome the children.
Lead photo by Iwan Baan, other photos by Mike Chino