- I popped along to the new Tate Modern extension for a preview of what is on offer.
- The official opening is on 17 June, but with my special pass I was one of the a long line of people taking an early look inside.
- The Tate Modern is in an old electricity generation building and there's areas call The Tanks, The Boiler Room and the newest part is called the Switch House. Spot the oil storage tanks location in the picture below.
- The original Tate collection was started by Henry Tate, who was the inventor of the sugar cube.
- Noticeably, the new brickwork of the extension reminds me of stacked sugar cubes.
The architects may refer to the brickwork as 'knitwear' but I'm wondering whether, like Newcastle's Baltic, it will become attractive seasonal lodgings for a type of sea-bird? (kittiwake cam here)
- I used to pass the building during its construction. It was a much whiter looking colour before the external brickwork was added to the concrete skeleton.
Now it's like one of those posh coats with a contrasting lining.
- It seems hard to believe that the Tate Modern only opened in 2000.
- It now receives some 5 million visitors a year and is now well-established as a key London tourist venue.
- I know I'm not talking about the artwork in this post. There's some great well-known (and controversial) pieces on display, but they warrant separate descriptions.
- Despite the long queue of people waiting to enter the building, the interior was surprisingly uncrowded. I'm told there is around 60% more exhibit space now.
- There's various links to the pre-existing part of the building, although I think they had special restrictions until the whole building is formally re-opened.
- The Bankside area has been completely transformed over the last few years. New buildings, an urban park, pedestrian areas, a superb walk along the Thames. It should be on everyones' list of places to visit when in town.