Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Innovation Inspiration: "Tate Modern Gets More Raw"

Could the McKim, Mead & White-designed IRT Powerhouse be our own Tate Modern-on-the-Hudson?  The comparisons between these two monumental structures have been numerous, and many have looked to the Tate as inspiration for a possible alternative use for its New York City cousin.  Whatever the future holds for the IRT Powerhouse, the conversion of the Bankside Power Station to the Tate Modern is proof positive of the incredible possibilities.

 The underground former tanks at the Tate Modern, as pictured in the New York Times.

From the New York Times' "Tate Modern Gets More Raw":

When the Tate Modern opened its sleek glass doors in May 2000, its directors and curators expected around two million people in the first year — an ambitious number for a contemporary art museum. 

Five million came.

To date, more than 56 million visitors have passed through the massive industrial spaces of the Tate Modern, transformed by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron from a disused power station into a cultural center that has altered the nature and expectation of the museum-going experience, making it as much a tourist attraction as an art destination.

On Wednesday, the Tate Modern will open a new set of doors. They lead off the Turbine Hall into three enormous underground concrete cylinders, former oil tanks that once powered the refinery and held a million gallons of the viscous black gold. Known as the Tanks, they will become the first exhibition spaces in a major museum permanently dedicated to exhibiting performance, installation and experimental film.