There is strong public demand for increased space, improved access and better facilities. The visitor experience is diminished by a complicated layout and by inadequate spaces. School visitors have an over-complicated route to negotiate and learning spaces are far from the art.
The south-east quadrant will be reconstructed to the highest standards. The galleries will be made watertight, as well as having much improved illumination (using natural daylight as often as possible), load-bearings and architectural finish. Updated environmental controls will allow us to show early paintings, fragile sculptures, drawings, photographs and film in this suite. The archive space will be our first purpose-built display space for items from the archive, the largest part of our collection.
Tate Britains learning programmes have exceeded expectations and the gallery is unable to meet the growing demand from school groups, young adults, community organizations and families. Current learning and education spaces are overcrowded, isolated from the main galleries and lacking in basic facilities. Learning will be integrated into the body of the gallery by creating dry and wet spaces on the principal level, a new media studio near the Manton Foyer and a dedicated entrance for schools on the same level as the archive and library, adjacent to the new spiral staircase at the centre of the Rotunda.
Over the past ten years, the number of Tate Members has increased from 24,000 to 98,000. There is an urgent need to upgrade and enlarge the current Members Room. By transforming the Rotunda space, originally built to show graphics but later home to the library, we will be able to afford our members a space more appropriate to their needs. Adjacent to the Rotunda the newly unified River Room, previously divided into three meeting rooms, will be a splendid multi-purpose space for all kinds of activity. Thus these two parts of the original gallery, the upper-level circular balcony of the Rotunda and the River Room, will finally be returned to public use.