Phase One of Herzog & de Meuron’s Tate Modern Expansion Opens July 18th
July 5, 2012
The newly refurbished tanks at the Tate Modern; Photo: Marcus Leith via The Guardian
The opening of The Tanks at Tate Modern on July 18th will mark the completion of the first phase of the Tate Modern’s expansion, designed by Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron. The tanks, used to store oil when the structure functioned as a power plant, will be the first spaces in a museum to be exclusively dedicated to live art, performance, and film works. A fifteen-week arts festival will mark the opening.
At twenty-three feet high and one hundred feet in diameter, the tanks are gigantic, and yet it might be difficult to find where the original structure ends and Herzog & de Meuron’s restoration begins. This is because the architects wanted to let the size of the spaces speak for themselves, and allow the art performances to command the attention. While images seem to portray a large, yet simple, space, the tanks are completely deserving of attention. Their distinctiveness as underground structures will add a new dimension to works on display there.
The tanks under construction
The second phase of the Tate Modern’s expansion, set to open in 2016, has been called a ‘twisting pyramid’ and, it is hoped, will do above ground what the tanks now do under it: bring yet more energy and interest to what is already one of the most successful modern art museums in the world.
The tanks before renovation
The second phase of the expansion, rendering by Herzog & de Meuron
[via Happy Famous Artists]