Herzog & de Meuron brick design commended by inspectors
The revised plans for the new development of Tate Modern by Herzog & de Meuron have been granted planning permission by London's Southwark Council.
Southwark Council commended the revised plans in their report: "The proposed new building will be an extraordinary and unique addition to London's townscape. There have already been great regeneration benefits for the area following the opening of Tate Modern at Bankside. It is anticipated that Tate Modern 2 will further contribute to, and form the focus for the future regeneration of this area. The application can be strongly recommended for approval."
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: "We are delighted that Herzog & de Meuron's revised plans have been granted approval by Southwark Council. We look forward to creating one of the most exciting cultural buildings in Europe which will bring direct benefits to Southwark and London as a whole."
In an unconventional move, the original Herzog & de Meuron design of glass and steel blocks was scrapped for a brick pyramidal redesign revealed in July last year. The new design's perforated brick lattice will now blend with the original Tate Modern building's distinctive exterior. At the heart of the new plans are the unique oil tanks of the former power station, which will be retained as raw spaces for art and from which the new building will rise. The structure will glow at night with light being emitted from the perforations.
The revised building also sets new benchmarks for museums and galleries in the UK for both sustainability and energy use. By exploiting waste heat emitted from EDFE's relocated transformers and employing passive design principles wherever practicable the scheme will use 54% less energy, and emit 44% less carbon than building regulations demand.
Overall the project will also address some of the strains on the current building. The gallery was originally designed for 2 million visitors. With current visitor numbers reaching up to 5 million, there is serious overcrowding particularly at weekends. Changes in contemporary art practice mean that different kinds of spaces are desirable and additional space is needed so works can be brought out of storage and shown on a more permanent basis. Since 2000, there have been more than 2 million participants in Tate Modern's learning programmes and existing spaces cannot satisfy demand.
The project is due to be completed in 2012 at an estimated cost of £215 million at 2012 prices. To date Tate has raised £74 million, which represents a third of the overall costs.