The revised plans for the new development of Tate Modern by leading international architects Herzog & de Meuron have been granted planning permission by Southwark Council it was announced today.
Southwark Council commended the revised plans in their report: “The proposed new building will be an extraordinary and unique addition to London’s townscape. There have already been great regeneration benefits for the area following the opening of Tate Modern at Bankside. It is anticipated that Tate Modern 2 will further contribute to, and form the focus for the future regeneration of this area. The application can be strongly recommended for approval.”
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “We are delighted that Herzog & de Meuron’s revised plans have been granted approval by Southwark Council. We look forward to creating one of the most exciting cultural buildings in Europe which will bring direct benefits to Southwark and London as a whole.”
In response to a revised brief, and in consultation with artists and curators, the architects have refined designs to create a dramatic new museum for the 21st century. At the heart of the new plans are the unique oil tanks of the former power station, which will be retained as raw spaces for art and from which the new building will rise.
These revisions have been shaped by a desire to integrate the new structure with the existing building and to contribute to the local environment by opening up a new North/South route from the Millennium Bridge through the building to Southwark. The integration is expressed in a façade, which echoes that of the original power station but uses brick in a radical new way by creating a perforated brick lattice through which the building will glow in the evening. The building is more compact than in the previous scheme and the configuration is more flexible to allow for future changes in the programme.
The revised building also sets new benchmarks for museums and galleries in the UK for both sustainability and energy use. By exploiting waste heat emitted from EDFE’s relocated transformers and employing passive design principles wherever practicable the scheme will use 54% less energy, and emit 44% less carbon than building regulations demand.
Overall the project will also address some of the strains on the current building. The gallery was originally designed for 2 million visitors. With current visitor numbers reaching up to 5 million, there is serious overcrowding particularly at weekends. Changes in contemporary art practice mean that different kinds of spaces are desirable and additional space is needed so works can be brought out of storage and shown on a more permanent basis. Since 2000, there have been more than 2 million participants in Tate Modern’s learning programmes and existing spaces cannot satisfy demand.
The project is due to be completed in 2012 at an estimated cost of £215 million at 2012 prices. To date Tate has raised £74 million, which represents a third of the overall costs.