Alexandros Skondras captures the industrial modernism of the New Tate Modern Blavatnik Building, London

Herzog & De Meuron’s Tate Modern has changed London since 2000. The impact it has had on urban design and the development of the South Bank and Southwark, has been as substantial as its influence on the city’s artistic, cultural and social life. Alexandros Skondras visited London in the spring of 2018 to photograph the new expansion of the museum.  -photographs by Alexandros Skondras
Tate Modern is the world’s most visited museum of modern and contemporary art.
The expansion allows the curatorial staff almost complete freedom in displaying art. These spaces also include a whole floor dedicated to educational facilities and outreach programs; as well as staff and public cafes, an events space and a viewing deck. The location of the museum required moving the original switch house, a huge piece of central electricity infrastructure, which is a major civil engineering project in its own right. 

tate modern, London. UK, Alexandros Skondras, museumAs one approaches the Tate Modern from the river, the new Switch House can be seen rising behind the power station without competing with the iconic chimney. Integrating the new building into the existing urban fabric has been fundamental to the project, as well as integrating it into the skyline of the city and ensuring that visitors both inside and outside could orient themselves. 

“We wanted the combined elements of Tate Modern, old and new, to be expressed as a whole, we wanted to have them come together and function as a single organism. Using the same base palette of bricks and brickwork in a radical new way, we created a perforated brick screen through which light filters in during the day and through which the building will glow at night. ” – Herzog & de Meuron

tate modern, London. UK, Alexandros Skondras, museum

The chain mail brick façade is a completely new invention that allows the museum to bridge the gap between the contextual and the iconic.

tate modern, London. UK, Alexandros Skondras, museumtate modern, London. UK, Alexandros Skondras, museum

As well as doubling the gallery space, The Tate Modern Project will created a diverse collection of public spaces dedicated to relaxation and reflection, making and doing, group learning and private study. These spaces are spread over the building and linked by a generous public circulation system rising through the building. The vertical orientation of these spaces is clear in the same way that a horizontal orientation is evident in the first phase of the Tate Modern.


All images © Alexandros Skondras