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Tate Modern Blavatnik Building

Architect: Herzog & de Meuron

Client: Tate

Project completion: 2017


The Tate Modern extension, now known as the Blavatnik Building, combines a new pyramidal tower with previously restricted parts of the old power station.


The original Tate Modern celebrated the space it gave to the public, most notably in the generosity of the Turbine Hall which, with its many successful installations, created a popular gathering space.   The architects have continued this ambition in the new building by creating a ‘vertical boulevard’, a deliberately oversized staircase.   This connects new galleries, carved out of the parts of the power station that were functioning electrical facilities in 2000, with new spaces for education and relaxation. These stairs enable visitors to enjoy the spatial experience of moving through the building, with constantly changing views of the Turbine Hall as well as glimpses toward the outside.

Feature stairs in general, if not carefully designed, can pose difficulties for visitors.  In this instance creative liaison between DBA and the architects ensured that the stair complied with all access requirements.  For those not wishing to take the stair there are 8 large passenger lifts serving the main exhibition spaces. Four of these lifts continue to the highest level.


The design of the extension continues Tate’s commitment to access for all.  The gallery aims to be exemplary in delivery of its services for disabled people in addition to meeting duties set out in current law.  Tate is assisted in this ambition by its Disability Advisory Group which was consulted throughout.  The group, comprising ten disabled designers, artists and gallery users, represents a variety of disabilities.


This commitment to access is demonstrated on the Tate website which provides clear information on a range of additional facilities and services including a fully equipped Changing Place facility at Level 0, magnified and coloured overlays for visually impaired visitors and BSL talks as well as a BSL training programme.

RIBA London Award 2017
RIBA National Award 2017

Anchor 1
Tate Modern 2
Image by  John Lord
Tate Modern II
Image by Emma Raphael
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Royal Festival Hall
Image by  Stephen Richards
Royal Festival Hall, London
The Team
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