Tate’s £260m ‘twisted pyramid’ opens

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Billed as the most important cultural building since the British Library, Tate Modern’s new Switch House, opens to the public on Friday.


The £260m ten storey extension will house works of art made since the original Tate Modern, now the Boiler House, opened in a former power station in 2000.

“This is a landmark moment not only for Tate and London but also for the UK as a whole?” said Tate’s director, Sir Nicholas Serota. “When Tate Modern opened we never imagined the overwhelming response that it would generate from audiences. The need to grow swiftly moved from a desire to an imperative. In the new Tate Modern, with its huge variety of spaces, we are able to tell a story of modern art which is more international, more diverse and even more engaging. The opening signals a new era for modern and contemporary art in the UK.”

It is the world’s first museum dedicated to live art, film and installation. On different levels are spaces devoted to live art from performances to interactive sculpture, to exploring the relationship between a work of art and the world around it, the way artists interact with communities and approach the urban environment, and Artists’ Rooms, beginning with the late Louise Bourgeois (an exhibition of whose work opened the Boiler House 16 years ago).

This inaugural weekend the Switch House will open between 10 and 10pm for be three days of music, film, tours, workshops and events, with drop-in screenings and video art, and special events for young people and families.

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