Tate Modern seeks funds to finish upgrade: what will it be like?

Tate Modern needs £30m to complete ten-storey building with more intimate spaces for viewing art


Tate officials say they are confident a new extension to the Tate Modern will open in June 2016, despite the current £30m shortfall in funding – so what will the new building be like?

The world famous modern art museum is currently undergoing a massive revamp, adding a ten-storey building to the existing six-storey space based in a former power station on London's South Bank.

At a press event for the Tate galleries' annual report yesterday afternoon, director Nicholas Serota revealed the project is running out of funds, reports the Financial Times.

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Serota said construction costs for the project had risen to £260m since the original estimates of £215m were made in 2006. The gallery has raised some of the money from private donors, with £50m from the Treasury and £1m from Southwark council but remains £30m short in a difficult time for arts funding.

Serota said he was "confident" the gap would be closed. "We have a push now for the next nine months to raise the final £30m for Tate Modern and I'm sure we'll do that."

So where is the money going?

Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, who oversaw for the gallery's transformation in 2000, have designed the new ten-storey building, which is being constructed over the existing underground Tanks spaces and will connect to the current galleries and vast turbine hall of the six-storey boiler house.

Shaped like a skewed cuboid and clad in a brick lattice, the extension will include spaces for performance, film, photography and installations. As well as three floors of galleries and the subterranean Tanks spaces, there will be areas for education, digital activities, a members' room, restaurant, shop and viewing level on a vast panoramic terrace.

Serota says the building will address complaints about the existing boiler-house galleries, which have been criticised for being too large. The revamp will create a series of smaller more intimate galleries where viewers can being very close to the works of art.

Tate Modern decided on the extension after visitor numbers rocketed well beyond expectations. In a video about the project on Tate's website, Serota explains that the original gallery was planned around estimates of 2.5 million visitors a year.

These figures soon escalated to five million, and last year reached 5.7 million, reports the BBC. Serota said the new building, which expands the total display space by 60 per cent, would help address concerns about overcrowding.

The new space will also allow a "complete rehang" of the gallery's artworks to showcase more than 250 artists from about 50 countries. New acquisitions to be shown for the first time in 2016 will include an installation of human hair and car bumpers by Sheela Gowda and an immersive multi-screen film by Cannes prize-winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The new building is set to open to the public on 17 June 2016.

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