Bosses at the Tate Modern Gallery have decided that the new flooring in its latest extension is an important part of its overall look, and should be seen by visitors, rather than be covered up by carpeting or other floor coverings.
The addition to the Tate is opening on June 17th 2016, and the extension is part of its £260 million refurbishment. When the original Tate Modern was built, around two million visitors a year were expected. Now there are over five million a year, and this has meant that the gallery gets overcrowded. The new extension will provide extra space for both visitors and exhibitions.
Architects Herzog & de Meuron designed the extension, which has been hailed a landmark cultural building. Built on the site of disused power station, it features exposed concrete floors, walls, ceilings and staircases, and there are even concrete benches for people to sit on.
Sections of the building have bricks that are laid with gaps between them to allow light to filter through and cause an external glowing effect at night.
The building, along with its industrial look and brand new concrete flooring, has been warmly reviewed by critics. Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times said:
“From an urban point of view, what they have achieved here is quite remarkable. They have managed to integrate the former power station into the city and streets behind while maintaining its sense of presence and difference.”
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