The Trustees of the Tate Gallery today unveiled plans to transform Tate Modern into a new museum for 21st Century Britain.
Under the plans an new building will be constructed on the south side of the existing gallery which the Tate says will “form one of the most exciting new cultural centres in Europe – a symbol of creative Britain”.
Mayor Ken Livingstone has announced a major investment of £7 million from the London Development Agency to kick-start the development and help fast-track the scheme to ensure it is completed by the London Olympic Games in 2012.
The new building will better help Tate Modern accommodate the 4 million-plus visitors a year that come to the present building. The project is intended to act as a catalyst for the further regeneration of the South Bank, encouraging its impact to spread further southwards into Southwark.
Construction of the extension has been made possible by a decision by EDF Energy Networks to relocate the electricity substation located in Tate Modern’s Switch House.
A new south entrance will open up a north-south route or “street” right through the building, creating a new pedestrian walk from the City across the Millennium Bridge through the Turbine Hall to Southwark and the Elephant and Castle. This will be open for at least 12 hours a day.
Designs for the new development will be submitted for planning approval in Autumn 2006, with a decision expected in Spring 2007. The total costs of the project will be £165 million at today’s prices.