Tate Plans Massive Expansion
Tate Modern has announced a plan to expand by some 50%, to establish a new and thriving cultural 'quartier' in South London. The project could cost as much as £135 million. Herzog and de Meuron, the architects of the original Tate Modern building, have been reappointed for this second phase. By moving forward with its plans quickly, Tate Modern intends to be ahead of the field and to avoid being constrained by other competitors in this burgeoning area of Central London. One reason cited for the expansions is the problem of overcrowding at weekends (there are now more than four million visitors per year). Other reasons are the need to show more collections and to establish a new series of galleries, with some accommodation for video and photography - still poor relations to the rest of the art on show. Educational facilities will also have a high priority. And more space for painting? That could have been precipitated as a reason by the Saatchi Gallery's new policies too. One other curious factor is the need for the electricity company's onsite substation to be upgraded and reduced in size and this has brought forward the entire programme.