Tate Britain Dramatically Rethinks Its Interior Spaces

Tate Britain Dramatically Rethinks Its Interior Spaces
Spiral staircase, Caruso St John
(Courtesy of the Tate)

LONDON — Tate Britain has unveiled further details of one of the most significant redevelopments in its history, which includes the reopening of its entrance on Millbank and creation of a new spiral staircase (pictured). The £45-million revamp, overseen by architect Caruso St John, follows the gallery’s chronological rehang, announced earlier this year.

The new design combines fresh architectural features with existing elements of the building that “restore its historical logic.” The Whistler restaurant, with its Whistler mural The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats (1926-7),” will also re-open. In addition, a circular balcony in the building’s Rotunda, closed to visitors since the 1920s, has been transformed into a new café and bar for Tate Members.

Finally three contemporary artists — Richard Wright, Alan Johnston, and Nicole Wermers — will commemorate the re-opening with site-specific commissions. Respectively, they have been tasked with making a stained glass window (Wright), a ceiling drawing (Johnston), and tea and coffee spoon available for the public to buy (Wermers).

In a statement, Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis said: “The new [building] opens up the Millbank entrance to reassert and enhance the original grandeur and logic of the galleries. Adam Caruso and Peter St John have created new spaces out of old, and artists have helped to articulate a new sense of the public realm.”