Tate Modern Switch House

Herzog & de Meuron, London, 2016


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

The brickwork complements the existing Tate Modern building 

Hufton + Crow     Download Original

  • The brickwork complements the existing Tate Modern building    
  • The viewing gallery    
  • The extension provides ample space for installations    
  • The curved staircase is a focal point of the building    
  • The Switch House is a meeting place as much as a gallery    
  • Areas for circulation are vast    
  • Concrete buttresses     
  • Timber flooring    
  • Site plan    
  • Setting out plan    
  • Level 0 plan    
  • Level 1 plan    
  • Level 3 plan    
  • Level 4 plan    
  • Level 6 plan    
  • Level 9 plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Typical facade aseembly brickwork external elevation    
  • Internal elevations vertical and inclined    
  • Facade construction    
  • Facade cladding block to block connections    
  • Typical facade assembly corner and crease    
  • Perforated brickwork corner rule    
  • South elevation brick colour    
  • Typical facade assembly internal elevation    
  • Vertical and inclined envelope structure    
  • Vertical and inclined PCC and corbels    
  • Vertical and inclined glazing    
  • Facade detail    
  • Vertical and inclined glazing    

Herzog & de Meuron's extension to the Tate Modern has become an instant London landmark.

Beneath the Switch House building – named after the part of the original power station the new building occupies – its oil tanks have reopened as a space for performance art.

Entered through a gigantic chamber of rough-and-ready aged concrete, these spaces, once the working hub of the power station, have created vast echoing drums, while also becoming the foundations for the building above, and influencing its ziggurat-like shape.

From this industrial space, visitors ascend into the new gallery space via a curving staircase, which twists up through the floors. Around the building there are small nooks for respite and larger spaces to meet and wait. In these spaces, where padded seats are placed at the windows inviting contemplation, the concrete structure is revealed, cutting a void up though the building’s many levels.

The extension houses three new levels of gallery space, with tall slot windows and rooflights at the fourth level providing natural daylight.


  • Completed: Jun 2016
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Education
  • Total cost: £260M
  • Address: Bankside, London, SE1 9TG, United Kingdom

Professional Team