The long-awaited expansion of London’s Tate Modern museum will finally open on June 17, 2016, the museum just announced. The building is designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, of the original Tate Modern, Barcelona Forum Building and Beijing National Stadium fame. Originally slated to open in time for London’s 2012 Olympics, the grand scale of the project delayed it until now.
The expansion is expected to usher in a new age for London’s most prestigious modern art museum, increasing capacity by 60% and allowing all previously hung works to be re-displayed. Approximately three quarters of the new works displayed have been acquired by the museum since 2000, according to a press release by the museum. Tate Modern expects their acquisitions will make the museum, “even more international, diverse and engaging, with works by over 300 artists around the world displayed across the existing Boiler House and the new Switch House – the most important new cultural building in Britain for almost 20 years.”
Architecturally, it will be a significant change to London’s iconic skyline. The new building, which is ten stories tall, is a brick-surface, twisting pyramid that houses a new roof terrace, offering viewers 360-degree views of the Thames River and the rest of the skyline. The brickwork is complemented with perforated brick lattice, through which lights will glow after the sun sets. The opening will be heralded with new collection displays, three weeks of live performance art, screenings from the Tate collection, longer viewing hours, and a 23-foot tall Ai Weiwei sculpture to be unveiled in the museum’s Turbine Hall.