Thursday, 29 April 2010
Tate Modern/Bankside Power Station, London
Tate Modern is an art gallery with many pieces of modern art in the Bankside area of Southwark. However, the building that currently houses it has not always been an art gallery. It was originally built as Bankside Power Station and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed the red telephone boxes and Battersea Power Station further upstream. Much of the interior has obviously been done up, although some of the beams and girders which support the building are still visible in parts of the building. Another feature added since it's conversion to an art gallery is the glass addition to the top of the building which I believe houses 1-2 floors.
The gallery itself is home to a large collection of modern art, with some exhibitions running for a limited time only. Now admittedly, my knowledge of modern art is lacking in some departments, since my interest of this period lies in modern architecture, though the both are naturally intertwinned. If you're unfamiliar with modern art, you'd fare well reading up a little before you go along to appreciate it - I was a little lost with my relatively basic knowledge! However, what I did see and understand I did enjoy! There's no shying away from saying that modern art isn't for everyone, but if this is your cup-of-tea, then the Tate Modern is definitely worth a visit! ...the building aside!
More information on the building can be found on Wikipedia and about the gallery on the Tate Modern website.
Get there: Free entry - £3 recommended. Southwark (LU), or Mansion House (LU) via a walk across the Millenium Bridge. Why not start your visit at Southwark (LU), visit the Tate Modern, and walk across the Thames on the Millenium Bridge and up Peters Hill to St. Pauls Cathedral and Temple Bar. Or alternatively, stay on the South Bank and walk east past the Globe and towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.