One of the most popular museums of contemporary art, the Tate Modern, opened its newest gallery, Switch House, on 17 June.
The building was overseen by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and is completely unique, with angular and organic shapes on its façade, reminiscent of a pyramid. Inspiration came from the factory that used to exist in the current museum’s location, and it was essential to maintain some kind of link with the building’s past.
More than 300 bricks were used for the external part, giving an elegant air to the construction. The building has 10 storeys, and some of its aspects have been maintained, whilst others, such as the basement (which still holds some remnants of the old factory’s working days), transformed, with adaptations to the old turbine room, the single biggest space in the museum, where its internal spaces converge.
Switch House contains three floors for exhibitions and performances, and the other floors will have community activities, courses, a restaurant and a terrace. Being connected to the old building means that there is access to the museum’s 800 pieces of art, by 300 artists, from 50 countries, as well as libraries of works from all over the world, including Latin America.
The Tate houses collections from renowned artists, such as Picasso and Matisse, and now, thanks to the enlarged space, half of the individual rooms are dedicated to work by female artists, such as Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama. Brazil also has its fair share of representation, with work by Hélio Oiticica, Jac Leimer and Cildo Meireles.
So what we can look forward to now is an even more international, interactive and exciting artistic experience. It’s worth checking it out!
Where: Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
Further information: www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern