Collection NameTate Public Records: Tate Modern Project
Reference Number (click the number to browse all records in this collection)TG 12
Alternative Reference NumberTGM
TitleTate Modern Project
Date1986 - 2000
Access StatusOPEN
LocationPhotograph collection
DescriptionThe collection relates to the discussion, development and building of Tate Modern (formerly the Tate Gallery of Modern Art), from early discussions on splitting the Tate's collection up to the opening of Tate Modern in May 2000.
ArrangementThe papers are grouped thematically and arranged chronologically to file level. The groups are as follows: Concept and discussion, 1986 Jan-1996 Jan; Project management, 1993 Nov-2000 May; Site selection, 1992 Dec-1994 Jun; Architectural competition, 1993 Jul-1995 Feb; Legal papers, 1994 Apr-1998 Dec; Finance, 1994 May-2000 May; Correspondence, 1993 Feb-1999 Feb; Construction, 1993 Dec-2000 Feb; Fundraising, 1993 Jan-1999 Dec; Publicity (including the opening ceremony), 1994 May - 2000 May; Bankside related projects, 1994 Mar-1999 Jul; Bankside operations, 1994 Oct-2000 Feb.
The papers were sorted and catalogued by Ross MacFarlane between April 2000 and April 2001. The list was revised and transferred to CALM between July and September 2001 by Alan Crookham. Material from the Projects and Estates Office was catalogued by Luke Smythe between November 2002 and April 2003 and a revised list produced.
Finding AidsA list of the records is available on the CALM database and in hard copy in the Tate Archive searchroom.
Related MaterialThe minutes and papers of Tate Gallery Projects Ltd and the Tender Approvals Committee have been listed separately (these are not open to the public).
Administrative HistoryOn December 15th 1992, a press conference was held at the Tate Gallery to announce plans to create a new Tate Gallery of Modern Art (Tate Gallery of Modern Art) by the millennium, either in a permanent or a temporary home.
The search then began for suitable premises and Stanhope properties were appointed as consultants to advise the Tate on the selection of a site. In 1993, the following areas were examined: the South Bank; Effra (near Vauxhall); Greenwich reach; and Bankside Power Station. On April 28th 1994, Bankside Power Station was announced as the chosen site to house the Tate Gallery of Modern Art.
Three months later an international competition was launched to select an architect to redesign the power station. The initial 148 entrants were wittled down to a shortlist of thirteen architects in September, and then to a final shortlist of six in November. On January 24th 1995, the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron were announced as winners of the competition. The next month an exhibition of all the shortlisted applicants' designs opened at the Tate.
In March 1995 Dawn Austwick was appointed as Project Director to oversee the conversion of the Bankside site into the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, whilst in June Schal and Ove Arup were appointed as construction managers and construction engineers respectively. Work then began on deplanting the interior of the power station. June also saw a bid for funding to the Millennium Commission for the Tate Gallery of Modern Art project. Four months later it was announced that this bid had been successful, and that the Millennium Commission was awarding £50 million to the project, and also identifying Bankside as a landmark project for London.
In March 1996, Herzog & de Meuron's designs for Tate Gallery of Modern Art were unveiled in full, and two months later a grant of £12 million was made to the Tate by English Partnerships enabling the acquisition of the Bankside site from Magnox Electric plc (formerly Nuclear Electric plc) and the removal of the last remnants of machinery from the power station's turbine hall. In the same month, planning consent was granted by Southwark Council for the rebuilding of the power station.
During 1995 and 1996, the power station site was cleared and prepared for rebuilding, leaving the building stripped back to its original steel structure and brickwork. To oversee the work, architects Herzog & de Meuron opened an office at the site in December 1996.
By early 1997 a visitor centre had opened at the site, and it was also announced that over £100 million had been raised in fundraising. Spring and summer witnessed further demolition and enabling works to the site, including the removal of the old roof and the sandblasting and repainting of the original steelwork. In October construction began on the power station, and to mark the event a time capsule was buried. Also in 1997 the Swiss landscape architects Kienast and Vogt were appointed to draw up designs for landscaping the area around Tate Gallery of Modern Art.
At the beginning of 1998, Lars Nittve was appointed to the post of Director of Tate Gallery of Modern Art, joining the Tate from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. September of that year saw the launch of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art art programme, which aimed to establish an artistic presence in the Bankside area. The same month also witnessed the completion of a new roof for the power station. By the end of the year, the turbine hall was top-lit by a new 'lightbeam' along its top, and had gained a large new entrance on its west side.
Whilst work continued in transforming the former power station into a new art gallery, February 1999 saw an Arts Council award of £6.2 million to the Tate to allow the galleries on level 4 of the building to be completed. In September, as part of a rebranding strategy, the Tate Gallery of Modern Art was renamed Tate Modern.
With the completion of construction work in late 1999, January 2000 saw the beginning of artworks being installed in the galleries of Tate Modern. Following the launch of Tate Britain in March, and the screening on Channel 4 of Karl Sabbagh's Power into Art television documentary on the conversion of Bankside Power Station, Tate Modern was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 11th May 2000.
Custodial HistoryThe collection is formed mostly from the papers of Dawn Austwick, Project Manager, but also from the papers of Nicholas Serota, Tate Director; Dennis Stevenson, Chairman of Tate Gallery Trustees; Sandy Nairne, Tate Director of Public and Regional Services; George Cochrane, Community Relations Officer; Frances Morris, Curator; Damien Whitmore, Head of Communications; Victoria Walsh, Tate Modern Launch Co-ordinator and Adrian Hardwicke, Project Officer.

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