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Monday, July 21, 2008

Tate Modern extension, London, United Kingdom

Herzog & de Meuron's design swaps glass for brick
In an unusual turn for today's architecture Herzog & de Meuron have swapped the glass of their 2006 Tate Modern extension design for bricks in their 2008 redesign. The redesign follows a revised brief after consultation with artists and curators. At the heart of the updated 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 new brick exterior will blend with the existing exterior of the former power station.

The original design featured glass blocks that towered to form an obscure pyramid but these blocks are eradicated from the recently unveiled redesign and replaced by a perforated brick pyramidal structure comprising the tankers at the base of the structure.The revisions have been shaped by a desire to integrate the new building both with the existing building and the local environment. The oil tanks lead directly into the Turbine Hall and these interconnecting spaces will become the foundation of the new Tate Modern.

The revised building will also set new benchmarks for museums and galleries in the UK for both sustainability and energy use. By exploiting heat emitted from EDFE's relocated transformers and employing passive design principles wherever practicable the scheme will use 40% less energy, and 35% less carbon than building regulations demand.

The redevelopment has been funded to date with £50 million from Government, £7 million from the London Development Agency and £13 million from the private sector towards the overall costs. New planning permission will need to be sought but provided this is achieved the project is due for completion in 2012.

Niki May Young
News Editor
architecture NOW

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