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Tate Modern Switch House - A special report by Aya Sekine

Architects Herzog & Meuron were responsible for the original Tate Modern reconstruction at the turn of the millennium, and a natural choice for the Switch House extension which opened in June. Their portfolio also includes the Prada store in Tokyo and The Bird’s Nest stadium built for the Beijing Olympics (a collaboration with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei).

Rather than follow the trend of glass box structures that seem to be popping up all over the city, the architects chose to cover the façade of the ten-story tower with perforated brick walls that give a unique knitted look to the exterior. Surprisingly, the inside of the building is bright and airy, as shallow strips of horizontal windows allow plenty of light to pierce through the brickwork and the folded raw concrete adds dramatic angles to the sense of space.

From The Tanks on Level 0 (dedicated to installations, live performance and film) to the spectacular 360-degree viewing terrace on Level 10, it’s easy to get lost in the endless artworks over six floors.

It is definitely my new favourite place to spend time – alone or with others.

Tate Modern 9TG, Bankside, London SE1

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© Studio Nicholson 2021

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