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Published 04/05/2007 email E-MAIL print PRINT

The famous super-architects Herzog and de Meuron have evolved a different aesthetic for their newly-accepted proposals for the gallery extension. Signature architecture is not really in it, since the building design appears to have nothing to link it stylistically to Tate Modern. The Swiss architects have abandoned the emphasis on materiality for which they were once known. The Tate brand can brook no rivals, and this structure is a phenomenon all its own. The public is already evenly divided, some like the idea of a falling ziggurat, others seek out curves, which ain’t yet there. All that is now required to stamp an individual identity is a slide-chute for enthusiasts down the elevation. One can say that such a building may well be ready for demolition in thirty years time. Then what?

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