James Stirling was the architect invited by Tate to convert the northwest corner of the seven storey warehouse into a five storey modern art gallery, the biggest outside London.
He visited the building in 1982 and a feasibility study for the project was commissioned.
What Stirling saw was a monumental brick and stone building built over a colonnade of sturdy Doric columns.
The building, completed in 1848, was designed by the architecy Jesse Hartley and was one of the grandest examples of industrial architecture in Europe.
Despite being registered as a Grade 1 listed building in 1952 the warehouse had fallen into a state of disrepair. Work on its refurbishment began in October 1985 and the fitting out of the interior a year later.
Stirling & Wilford feasibility report for Tate in the North
© Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal