Tate Modern – One Year On

4 July 2017
Officially opened on the 17th June 2016, Tate Modern’s extension has a lot to celebrate one year on with increased visitor numbers, numerous award wins and nominations, global recognition and a new name – the Blavatnik Building.


Martin Burden. Ramboll

Martin Burden

Consulting Director, Buildings
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Best buildings of 2016

The Tate Modern extension has been relishing in numerous successes since opening its doors to the public one year ago. To celebrate the anniversary the building, previously known as the Switch House, was officially named the Blavatnik Building on June 17th 2017.

In 2016, Tate Modern welcomed a record number of visitors with six million art enthusiasts attending the gallery; nearly one million visited within the first month of the Blavatnik Building opening alone.

The building's popularity was mirrored with architecture enthusiasts and is listed amongst the best buildings of 2016 by both The Guardian and The Times and chosen as The Times Critic’s Choice. The one-of-a-kind geometric structure, striking brick façade and interesting array of internal spaces received numerous accolades from across the globe. "One of the most spectacular buildings London has seen in decades" commented Robert Bevan, Architecture critic for London's Evening Standard. The American Society of Civil Engineers magazine published “…a unique and iconic structure that confirms London’s place as one of the world’s leading art capitals.”

Industry recognition has been received via multiple award wins and nominations, highlighting the engineering excellence, innovation and commitment from all involved to deliver such a complex building. Already winning a RIBA London and RIBA National Award, Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building is also shortlisted in the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA), and Ground Engineering awards. It is also competing for the coveted ArtFund Museum of the Year title with the winner due to be announced on 5th July 2017. View the full list of award recognitions here.

Ramboll has been a key collaborator in delivering Tate’s vision to life; beginning work on the project in 2008 we continue to support the gallery with new art installations. Currently exhibited outside the Blavatnik Building, on top of the Tanks, sits the sculpture Forward where the Russian word вперед, meaning ‘forward’, is repeated four times to form a circle. Ramboll reviewed the loading capacity of the Tank lids and the fabricators calculations for the 2.9m high 750kg letters.

Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building has become a London icon; a unique ground-breaking building that has pushed the boundaries of modern design and engineering. In delivering social value it successfully integrates display, learning and social functions, strengthening links between the gallery and its locality. It has established a new model for public galleries and museums worldwide.

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Ramboll. Tate Modern extension. Image: Daniel Shearing

Tate Modern

Officially opened on 17th June 2016 the new Tate Modern extension later named the Blavatnik building is an iconic world-class addition to London’s skyline. Enabling new ways to display Tate's collection, the new building has been instrumental to Tate Modern's recent success, as it topped the polls as the UK's most visited attraction in 2018.


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