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Herzog and de Meuron Redesign Tate Extension

Hulking behind the Tate Modern in London like a Jawan sandcrawler about to nab priceless art is the latest redesign from the pens of Herzog & de Meuron of the gallery's planned extension.

The proposals also take advantage of three major unused oil tanks below by turning them into additional exhibition space and creating the lower three floors of what will be an eleven story scheme that rises to 65 metres in height above ground.

Linking the whole thing together will be what is described as a "ceremonial route", a staircase that winds its way from the bottom to the top.

Although they have retained the basic massing of the previous proposals that's where the similarity ends. Those were a stack of translucent glass blocks but this time Herzog & de Meuron have turned to the inspiration of the original Giles Gilbert Scott designed power station that is now the Tate Modern and adopted brick.

They've taken drawn on it for an industrial palette of brickwork throughout and fixed horizontal voids in it for windows with other areas of the bricks being perforated creating a number of different façade treatments. At night the effect should be particularly noticeable as the perforated sections are lit from within.

Included in the proposals are not only exhibition space but also a study centre on level six, studio spaces on level seven and support space on level eight for the floors above it.

These are a new members lounge on level nine, a 140 seat restaurant on level ten and on the very top floor, an observation space that should give some of the best views in London and will be open to all the visitors of the gallery.

If approved, the ambitious £260 million scheme will add another 26,600 square metres of space to the existing floorspace of the Tate Modern and could be completed by 2012.

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