London without the Tate Modern? It just wouldn’t be the same London. The iconic museum for contemporary art keeps transforming to keep pace with the ever-changing city that surrounds it. London has one of the most diverse and eclectic art scenes in the world, and now more than ever, the Tate Modern is evolving to reflect that. With the advent of the new 200-foot, £260m extension dubbed Switch House, Tate Modern is able to showcase a whole new selection of work.
Other than panoramic views of London, Switch House has increased the gallery’s capacity by 60%, making room for over 800 works by 300 artists. The extension will boast the world’s very first permanent space dedicated to live performance art. On top of which, the new pyramid-like tower will dedicate much of its space to displaying the work of female artists. Half of all solo displays will showcase women artists.
The Tate director, Sir Nicholas Serota, told The Guardian, “Today we open not just an extension but genuinely a new Tate Modern with a new configuration, new facilities, new learning spaces and a new view of the world as it has been over the last 120 years or so.”
Tate Modern’s director, Frances Morris told The Guardian, “You can rewrite history but you can’t reinvent it. We are highlighting the great contributions of women but there is an imbalance in the history.”
Switch House is still connected to the Power Station (original gallery), which have both been designed by the world-renowned Herzog & de Meruron. The new space has been described as the UK’s most important new cultural building since the British Library. No big deal.