The Story of the Tate Modern, London

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The Tate Modern was created in the year 2000 to display the national collection of international modern art ( defined as art since 1900 ) This forms part of the collection which is the national collection of British art since 1500 and international modern art. The international modern art was formerly displayed alongside the British art at what the Tate Gallery and is now Tate Britain. Serviced City Pads can offer serviced apartment accommodation in many London locations where it will feel like home away from home.

By about 1990 it was clear that the Tate Collection had hugely outgrown the original Tate Gallery at Millbank. It was decided to create a new gallery in London to display the international component of the Tate Collection. For the first time London would have a dedicated musuem of modern art. At the same time, the Tate building on Millbank would neatly revert to its original intended function as the national gallery of British art.  Serviced apartments have become very popular for either leisure or business travellers and can work out cheaper than hotel rooms with 50% more space. 

An immediate problem was whether the modern art gallery should be a new building or a conversionof the existing building, if a suitable one could be found. As a result of extensive consultations, particularly with artists, it was decided to search for a building to convert. When the building that is now Tate Modern presented itself, it appeared something of a miracle. It was a fromer power station that had closed in 1982, so it was available. It was a very striking and distinguished building in its own right, by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. It offered all the space that was required. Not least, it was an amazing locationon the south bank of the River Thames opposit St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London. Plans were almost immediatley formulated to build a footbridge to link the new gallery to the City. The fact that the original Tate Gallery was also in the river made satisfactory symmetry, and meant that the two could be linked by riverboat.

An international architectural competition was held attracting entries from practices all over the world. The final choice was Herzog and De Meuron, a relatively small and little known Swiss firm. A key factor in this choice was that their proposal retained much of the essential character of the building. One of the shortlisted architects had, for example, proposed demolishing the splendid ninety-nine metre high chimney, a central feature of the building.Serviced City Pads have apartment locations throughout London on your stay in the Capital.Please contact the reservations team at Serviced City Pads on 0844 335 8866.

The power station consisted of a huge turbine hall, thiry-five metres high and 152 metres long, with, parallel to it, the boiler house. The turbine hall became a dramatic entrance area, with ramped access, as well as a display space for very large sculptural projects. The boiler house became the galleries. Tnhese are on 3 levels running the full length of the building. The galleries are disposed in separate but linked blocks, known as suites, on either side of the central escalators. The Tate collection of modern art is displayed on two of the gallery floors, the third is devoted to temporary exhibitions. Above the original roofline of the power station Herzog and De Meuron added a two storey glass penthouse, know as the lightbeam. The top level of this house a cafe restaurant with stunning views of the river and the city, and the lower a members room with terraces on both sides of the building, the river side one offering the same stunning views of the restaurant. The chimney was capped by a coloured light feature designed by the artist Michael Craig-Martin known as the Swiss Light. At night, the penthouse lightbeam and the Swiss Light mark the presence of the Tate Modern for many miles. Accommodation in Central London Serviced Apartments can be booked through or contact the reservations team on 0844 335 8866.