Tate Britain: The revamp is revealed
London celebrates a new look for the Victorian classic
A £45million transformation of the 116-year-old Tate Britain gallery in London has been revealed.
Architects have been working on the oldest part of the Grade-II listed building, reopening the main entrance and installing a breath-taking giant spiral staircase at its heart.
It was built on the site of a Victorian prison in central London, used to hold criminals before they were shipped to Australia in the 1920s.
Other changes include a re-hanging of the collection displays and the restoration of a mural, which was damaged in a devastating 1928 flood. Parts of the building have been closed for almost two years while work was completed.
"For our generation, the distinction between new and old is less interesting," says Adam Caruso, who, with partner Peter St John, has worked to bring a sense of coherence to the building site - but not without adding exuberant flourishes.
95 per cent of the funding for the project came from private philanthropy while the remaining five per cent was from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Tate Britain, designed by architect Sidney RJ Smith, opened its doors in 1897 after industrialist Henry Tate offered his collection of British art to the nation.
In the future, a new waiting wing for the Tate Modern gallery will open: acquiring a 10-storey tower, built like "glass boxes", overseen by Swiss architects Werner Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (who in the year 2000, transformed a former power station into the Tate Modern estimated to be complete 2016).