London’s Tate Modern gallery said Tuesday it will open its new extension on 17 June next year, a development which expands its gallery space by 60 percent. Tate Modern, housed in a former power plant on the River Thames in London, is getting a new, 10-storey Switch House building shaped like a twisted pyramid.
The extension to the gallery is already under construction, and was designed by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. “With 60 percent more display space, the world’s most popular gallery of modern art will now feature over 250 artists from around 50 countries,” said Tate.
“It will reveal how art has evolved from the studios and salons where modernism was born to the live, interactive and socially-engaged projects happening around the world today.” The gallery will undergo a complete re-hang, including works acquired since the gallery first opened in 2000.
The cost of the project was paid for by fundraising and government grants, and amounts to £260 million ($400 million, 360 million euros). Tate Modern is one of four Tate galleries around Britain.
“Art is one of the most dynamic and engaged forms of human behaviour, and when people step into a museum today, they don’t want to step out of their life, they want to get closer to it,” said Tate Modern director Chris Dercon. “The new Tate Modern will be so much more than a container for art, it will be a platform for human encounters.”
Tate said in its annual report out Tuesday that 2014/15 was its best year for visitor numbers, with 7.9 million visits to its four galleries, 5.7 million of them at the Tate Modern.