The former circular oil tanks for the power station measure 30 meter by 7 meter high have been transformed from industrial remnants to amazing new performance spaces. “The Tanks should not be seen as an annex but as the roots of something to come: they are not just an addition to what exists, or a decorative feature, but something really fundamental to Tate’s vision,” explained the architects.
Sculpted from raw concrete, these tanks seem to be in direct opposition to the pristine and formal geometry of existing white gallery spaces found above ground. Yet, their charm lies in their roughness and their history is revealed through their exposed nature. Herzog and de Meuron tried to minimalize interference with the Tanks, as original patina with all its stains, marks and discoloration was preserved and, new concrete necessary for structural reinforcement, blends subtly into the overall patchwork. For access to the spaces, the architects cut new openings into the raw walls and left the edges exposed as an evidence of their intentional manipulation.
The Tate Tanks
Tate Gallery, London, UK
for Herzog & de Meuron