Caruso St John have been appointed architects for Tate Britain it was announced today. The appointment is for an initial period of five years.
The architects will work with Tate Britain to modernise areas of the existing gallery. Parts of the building’s structure remain in a pre-war condition and are in need of renovation and the gallery’s high number of visitors puts a strain on the current visitor facilities. A recently completed planning study identified a number of potential projects to improve the gallery’s facilities and renew the building fabric and services. The architects will work as part of the design team to take forward these projects within the context of Tate Britain’s masterplan, building on the success of the John Miller + Partners’ Centenary Development.
Caruso St John were selected because they showed the best understanding of the challenges posed by the building. The selection panel were impressed by their combination of a strong analytical approach with a sympathy for the art that is shown in the gallery.
Six practices were invited to tender: Caruso St John, DRMM (de Rijke, Marsh, Morgan Architects), DSDHA (Deborah Saunt David Hills Architects, MUMA (McInnes, Usher, McKnight Architects), HOK International Limited, and Rick Mather Architects. Rick Mather Architects subsequently withdrew before completion of the exercise.
Notes to Editor
Adam Caruso and Peter St John established their practice in 1990, and have since gained an international reputation for excellence in designing contemporary projects in the public realm. The practice is perhaps best known for the New Art Gallery Walsall. The £16 million new building contains spaces for temporary exhibitions and for a large permanent collection, together with extensive educational facilities. The gallery opened to wide public acclaim in 2000, and has won awards for its architecture, its programmes and its outreach.
More recent projects include an extensive programme of refurbishment and new building at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green which opened this December. Construction has begun on site for a new Centre for Contemporary Art in Nottingham, a commission won by the practice following an international competition in 2004.
Caruso St John have extensive experience of gallery and exhibition design, and have worked with many leading London institutions including the V&A and the National Gallery, as well as collaborations with contemporary artists. They have built several projects for the Gagosian Gallery including galleries at Britannia Street and Davies Street in London.
The practice is increasingly working on listed buildings and in historic contexts. Recently they were commissioned by English Heritage and Hounslow Borough Council to design a new café and facilities building adjacent to Chiswick House, as part of the regeneration project for Chiswick House and Park.
In 2006 the practice was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for their Brick House in Paddington, which was also given the RIBA London Building of the Year Award.