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article imageInside Tate Modern's expanded cultural superstructure Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 21, 2016 in Entertainment
London - One of London's most popular tourist attractions - Tate Modern - has almost doubled in size. The modern art gallery, housed in a disused power station, has opened up the underground part of the structure. The new aspects are bold and impressive.
Tate Modern is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and it is part of the Tate group, with Tate Britain (focusing on British artists) also located in London, and two other galleries in Cornwall and Liverpool.
The gallery is based in the former Bankside Power Station within the London Borough of Southwark. The gallery overlooks many famous landmarks, like St. Paul's Cathedral.
St Paul s Cathedral  London  is an Anglican cathedral  the seat of the Bishop of London and the moth...
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London.
Tate Modern opened in the year 2000 (the power station, designed by Sir Gilber Scott, closed in 1981.) The exhibition spaces were hosted in the former boiler house of the power station.
Map of Tate Modern  showing the newly opened structures - the Switch House and The Tanks.
Map of Tate Modern, showing the newly opened structures - the Switch House and The Tanks.
The gallery was already one of the largest in the world, attracting some 5 million visitors per year. Digital Journal has previously profiled the highlights available in the original parts of the gallery, which are orientated towards conceptual artists.
Parts of the structure remained out of use and were not developed, that is until money was raised in 2013. After a period of redevelopment the remaining parts of the former power station were opened up and connected with the main part of the gallery. The opening took place mid-way through 2016.
The first phase of the expansion involved the conversion of three large, circular, underground oil tanks which form the Boiler House.
The Tanks  the new extension at Tate Modern  preserving many original features.
The Tanks, the new extension at Tate Modern, preserving many original features.
'The Tanks', as the underground areas are called, were previously used to store oil when the gallery was a power station. Here there are various visual and performance art displays.
A vast conceptual art space within The Tanks. The theme here is  active sculpture   and the artist i...
A vast conceptual art space within The Tanks. The theme here is 'active sculpture', and the artist is Rasheed Araeen. The work is titled Zero to Infinity, and it consists of one hundred wooden open-framework lattice cubes.
A woman wandering through The Tanks  glancing furtively at some reflective cubes.
A woman wandering through The Tanks, glancing furtively at some reflective cubes.
The piece below is intended to be played, as part of a performance art project. Tarek Atouiā€™s sound pieces are intended as structures for improvisation rather than finished compositions.
Resembling a mass of  junk   this sculpture is intended to make one reflect on modernity.
Resembling a mass of 'junk', this sculpture is intended to make one reflect on modernity.
Good use is also made of film media.
Visual media on show at The Tanks  part of the new Tate Modern gallery.
Visual media on show at The Tanks, part of the new Tate Modern gallery.
A large  dimly lit screening area for longer art movies within Tate Modern s former oil tanks.
A large, dimly lit screening area for longer art movies within Tate Modern's former oil tanks.
The second phase involved converting structure called 'the Switch House'. This is a ten-storey tower, 65 meters high from ground level. This towering structure stands above the cavernous oil tanks. The opening provides 22,492 square meters of additional gross internal area, available for display and exhibition spaces.
Inside the Switch House there are vast areas ranging from meandering spiral staircases, to wide platforms between the floors, and to large lobby areas.
Spiral stairs that lead into the Switch House  part of the redesigned Tate Modern.
Spiral stairs that lead into the Switch House, part of the redesigned Tate Modern.
One of the platform levels within the Switch House. One group of visitors wait for the elevator rath...
One of the platform levels within the Switch House. One group of visitors wait for the elevator rather than climbing the stairs.
The twisting, pyramid-like shape has a spectacular viewing gallery.
View of the London skyline from the viewing gallery at the Switch House  within Tate Modern.
View of the London skyline from the viewing gallery at the Switch House, within Tate Modern.
The brick ziggurat is also a physical symbol of what London has to offer in terms of arts and entertainment.
Inside the Switch House there is an airy cafe. This picture is taken close to closing time.
Inside the Switch House there is an airy cafe. This picture is taken close to closing time.
With both new features additional design work was undertaken by the architects Herzog & de Meuron. The designers have retained the rough, industrial feel to house new art.
Blending the old and new  preserving the architectural history of the former power station.
Blending the old and new, preserving the architectural history of the former power station.
The various spaces are connected via the Turbine Hall. This is a single large space running the whole length of the building between the Boiler House and the Switch House.
People about to cross the bridge adjoining one part of Tate Modern to the other.
People about to cross the bridge adjoining one part of Tate Modern to the other.
A view from the bridge  looking down at the Turbine Hall within Tate Modern.
A view from the bridge, looking down at the Turbine Hall within Tate Modern.
Even if you are not an art lover, or an admirer of modern art, Tate Modern is worth a visit for the building structure alone and to appreciate the architectural design and the process of redevelopment, integrating the old with the new.
Visitors wandering  looking at photographs on the walls in Tate Modern. The galleries have an open f...
Visitors wandering, looking at photographs on the walls in Tate Modern. The galleries have an open feel to them.
More about Tate modern, London, Modern art, Art gallery, Art
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