Tate Modern's Extension Revealed In All Its Brown, Lumpen Glory

By M@ Last edited 25 months ago
Tate Modern's Extension Revealed In All Its Brown, Lumpen Glory
Tate Modern up close.

After the biggest bricklaying exercise since the Lego Movie, the extension to Tate Modern is finally nearing completion.

The warped ziggurat will add 60% more gallery space to the venue, with a particular focus on video, photography, performance art and works based on new technologies. The additional space will also help spread the load of visitors. Tate Modern now attracts around 5 million people a year. It was designed for only 2 million.

View from the west.
View from the west.

The £260m extension is the work of Herzog & de Meuron, the architects behind the original conversion of Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern at the turn of the century. The main feature is a twisted concrete tower coated in dark brown bricks.

Brickies working on Tate Modern extension.
Finishing touches. We hope they're not going to plug all those gaps.

We suspect the building will divide people. Actually, it's a gallery of modern art, so it bloody well should divide people. Some will view it as an ugly hunchback, ruining the simple lines of Giles Gilbert's Scott's cathedral of industry. Others will thrill at the bold design, hewn from similar materials to its brown-brick parent, but twisting and thrusting in unexpected ways. We'd be in the latter camp.

Twisty new extension.

Love it or loathe it, the new extension is set to open at the end of June, when we'll be back with more on what's going on inside.

View from Southwark Bridge.
View from Southwark Bridge.

Last Updated 18 April 2016


Love the tate modern and how it was refurbished, but that... o_O


I say hunchback.

Simon M

don't think much of it either, bricks too gappy.