The Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art. And the way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century.
The Turbine Hall has a vast and dramatic entrance area with ramped access, as well as display space for large-scale sculptural projects and site-specific installation art. Running parallel to the Turbine Hall is the Boiler House, home to the galleries and various viewing pointings looking into the hall. On the opposite side of the building, the newly developed Switch House also houses galleries and dramatic architechtural features.
A space for artist commissions
In thinking about what Tate Modern was going to do with this space, the idea of commissioning within it came quite late on... We realised [the Turbine Hall] was a hugely significant space; awe-inspiring in its scale, and to ask any artist to occupy that space, to perform within it, would be a momentous undertaking.
Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern
Louise Bourgeois created the first Turbine Hall commission, I Do, I Undo, I Redo, which was exhibited from 12 May – 26 November 2000. Consisting of three steel towers – each some 9 metres (30 ft) high –visitors could climb the staircases to the platforms, which Bourgeois envisaged would become stages for intimate and revelatory encounters between strangers and friends alike. Maman – a monumental steel spider – was made for the opening of Tate Modern as part of this commission. The sculpture was installed on the bridge, overlooking the three tall steel towers.
The Turbine Hall in numbers
Height from ground level: 26m (85ft).
Size of area where works of art can be shown: 3,300 m2 (35,520 sq ft).
Length: 155m (500 ft), width: 23 m (75 ft), height: 35 m (115 ft).
Roof light consists of 524 glass panes.
Total area of basements under Turbine Hall, boiler house and sub-station: approx 1.1 hectares (2.75 acres), with an average depth: 8.5 m (28 ft).
Since opening in 2000 over 60 million visitors have experienced the Turbine Hall.
Turbine Hall Commissions 2000 – 2016
4 October 2016 – 2 April 2017
Abraham Cruzvillegas takes on the Turbine Hall to create one of his signature autoconstrucción pieces
Tate Modern and Africa Express present Terry Riley's In C Mali filmed in the Turbine Hall
On February 6, 2013 German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk played their first of eight live performances in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall
French dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz transforms Tate Modern into a Museum of Dance for one weekend only.
TateShots visits Richard Tuttle, artist in residence, at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles
Coinciding with the Notting Hill Carnival, Tate Modern presents Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival, a new performance commission guest curated by Claire Tancons that offers critical and artistic perspectives on Carnival
Doris Salcedo on why she split the turbine hall floor
A performance by choirs from all over London singing about Tate Modern.
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Since Tate Modern first opened in 2000, it has become a London landmark, not just for the art it houses, but also for the architecture of the building itself. Take a look behind the art to see the fabric of Tate Modern, old and new.