Tate Modern Adapts Oil Tanks Into Gallery Space


Tate Modern Adapts Oil Tanks Into Gallery Space Launch will coincide with 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Tate Modern has announced the first phase of the development of new galleries which will also include the opening of the former power station’s spectacular Oil Tanks. These are large circular spaces spanning over thirty metres across and seven metres high.

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said: “The Oil Tanks will give visitors a new way to explore and experience art at Tate Modern. Architecturally they are fantastic raw spaces, which are being carefully converted for public use without losing any of their unique industrial character. These spaces can better accommodate our evolving live art programme than the traditional white box of the gallery. They will provide us with a dedicated home for the latest developments in art practice and research, and reflect the evolving way the gallery is used by artists, curators and the public.”

These massive industrial chambers have remained unused since the power station was decommissioned. Now they are being transformed into what promises to be one of the most striking and exiting spaces for art in the world. A further series of near-by galleries will provide a range of new spaces for works from the Tate Collection, including two raw concrete galleries and a steel-lined gallery.

The Oil Tanks will act also as social and learning spaces, and will be equipped for a diverse programme of live performances and events, including a crush bar and full back-of-house facilities.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “Tate Modern is responding to changing forms of art and to the changing expectations of visitors. The new building will allow us to show more of our Collection, while the Oil Tanks promise to be some of the most exciting spaces for new art in the world. We are immensely grateful to our generous donors for their support which brings us within striking distance of our target for the campaign, one of the largest ever in the cultural field.”

Through a number of major donations to the campaign, the opportunity to complete the first phase of the building has been made possible. These have raised 70% of the total capital costs of a staggering £215 million. Currently the donors wish to remain anonymous. The new Oil Tank spaces will be dedicated to showing the rich variety of art in an animated format. The East Tank will provide opportunity to showcase major new installations, and will be expanded and complemented by the South Tank programme that includes performance,film, sound and discussions.

The full programme for the Oil Tanks will be announced in early 2012. Phase 2 of the new development, which is planned to open at the latest in 2016, will complete the building and provide further floors of galleries. In total, the project will create another 70% of space for displaying works from the Tate’s Collection and programme. Over the last ten years, the Collection has grown considerably in size and has also developed, which reflects broader changes in contemporary art.


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