Main visitor areas are being remodelled and learning studios and public spaces are being added.
The project aims to keep the fabric of Sidney Smith’s 19th-Century building while enabling Tate to show more of its collection.
Nine galleries in the southern and oldest part of Tate Britain will be rebuilt, with new walls, roofs and floors. Gallery floors will be reinforced to hold larger sculptural works, and temperature and humidity controls will be improved through better insulation and ventilation, improving display conditions and allowing greater curatorial flexibility. New galleries will also be created in and around the space formerly housing the shop, which will be relocated to the southwest quadrant of the building.
The entrance on Millbank will be re-established as the public face of Tate Britain. The domed atrium at the entrance of the gallery will be opened up with a new spiral staircase that leads down to the lower level. The staircase is intended as a focal point that will improve visitor orientation and circulation. The circular balcony of the Rotunda dome – closed to visitors since the 1920s – will be reopened via a new lift and staircase as an area for Tate Members.
New purpose-built learning spaces around the gallery will be developed with a dedicated schools’ entrance and reception under the Millbank entrance steps.
Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2011 and complete in 2013. The project architects are Caruso St John, structural engineers Alan Baxter Associates, services engineers Maxfordham Partners, cost consultants Turner and Townsend, and project managers Drivers Jonas Deloitte.