The Tate Modern’s new ten story, £260 million, extension opened on the 17th of June. The development and construction of the building, which seeks to take its place among the icons of the London skyline, was supported by professional services firm Ramboll.
The Tate Modern houses some of the world’s most striking contemporary and modern artworks, from Salvador Dali’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus to Sheela Gowda’s Behold. The museum, which opened in 2000, is based in the former Bankside Power Station in London. It is one of the world’s largest modern and contemporary art museums, and has the 6th most yearly footfalls for any museum in the world.
The visitor numbers following its opening were well above expectation, and, in 2004, a proposal for an extension was tabled. In 2006, the Tate took over the west part of the power station from owner EDF Energy, and a £215 million extension plan was begun. The Tate’s permanent collection is considerably larger than what is on display, with the extension also providing room for more permanent as well as impermanent exhibitions.
The new extension was recently opened, at a final cost of £260 million. The extension, founded on top of three disused oil tanks that have been adapted as exhibition spaces, stands ten storeys tall and expands the display space by 60%. The aim of the building is also to impart something iconic to the London skyline. The architect, Herzog & de Meuron, aimed at creating a complex, irregular form which is visually harmonised with the original building through unique and striking brickwork. The brick façade, which includes 336,000 bricks, envelopes the truncated, twisting pyramid structure, while its column free construction provides 360° vistas of the River Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard and the City beyond.
As part of the construction process, the Trustees of Tate hired Ramboll to deliver a range of professional services to the task of building the extensions. The firm provided, among others, environmental consultancy, geotechnical engineering, façade engineering and structural engineering.
Martin Burden, Director Ramboll, says “It is a real privilege to have played such a pivotal role on the Tate Modern extension. From threading the buildings foundations around the oil tanks to defining the structure and the building envelope, we’ve helped realise the architectural vision and played an integral role in creating an iconic building that reflects the status of Tate Modern’s brand.”