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The building

In March 1996, Herzog & de Meuron's designs for the Tate Gallery of Modern Art were unveiled in full, and two months later a grant of 12 million was made to the Tate by English Partnerships enabling the acquisition of the Bankside site from Magnox Electric plc. In December the architects opened an office at the site to oversee the building work.

In order to begin the transformation of Bankside Power Station into an art gallery, the power station site had to be cleared and prepared for rebuilding. The huge machinery of the turbine hall was removed and a number of outbuildings demolished, leaving the building stripped back to its original steel structure and brickwork. The roofs of the old boiler house and turbine hall were also removed to allow for the installation of the massive light box that would run the length of the Gallery providing its spectacular light source.
Page from Herzog & de Meuron's proposal for Tate Modern
Page from Herzog & de Meuron's proposal for Tate Modern

© Herzog & de Meuron

Interior of the Turbine Hall Karl Sabbagh's documentary Power into Art on the conversion of Bankside into Tate Modern was screened on Channel 4 in April 2000 before the Gallery opened, generating widespread interest in the Project.

Listen to architect Jacques Herzog's description of the new galleries.

Tate Audio is sponsored by Bloomberg and produced in collaboration with Acoustiguide

Interior of the Turbine Hall
© Tate Archive 2003

Construction of the rooftop light box
© Tate Archive 2003

Construction of the rooftop light box