A new Tate Britain will be unveiled on 19 November 2013. The transformation of the oldest part of the Grade II* Millbank building by leading architects Caruso St John marks a significant moment for Tate Britain. The unveiling this autumn follows the opening in May 2013 of ten new galleries and the chronological presentation of the unparalleled collection of British art. The £45 million project includes:
- the reopening of the main entrance to Tate Britain on Millbank, combining new architectural features with the excavation of the most beautiful original architectural elements of the building. The changes will restore the historical logic of the building and include a striking new spiral staircase inside the entrance opening up access to new public spaces below;
- the reopening of The Whistler Restaurant, with its famous Rex Whistler mural, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats 1926-7, fully restored; and the new Djanogly Café, opposite the restaurant, which will open onto an exterior terrace. Both will serve food made with seasonal British ingredients;
- contemporary interpretations of tables and seating inspired by leading British Arts and Crafts designers active in the founding year of Tate Britain – 1897;
- new learning studios located throughout the gallery including a dedicated schools’ entrance and reception underneath the Millbank Entrance steps; and a new archive gallery, which will present temporary displays from Tate’s extensive archive of artists’ letters and ephemera. The first display by Paul Noble will be inspired by the history of the Tate Britain site as a penitentiary;
- the circular balcony of the Rotunda’s domed atrium, closed to visitors since the 1920s, which will become the elegant new café and bar for Tate Members; and a light-filled space overlooking the Thames, the original Grand Saloon, created for seminars and events; and
- site-specific work to celebrate the transformation of Tate Britain by three contemporary artists: Richard Wright will design handmade glass and leading for the eastern window in the Millbank foyer; Alan Johnston will create a ceiling drawing for the Djanogly café and Nicole Wermers will create a tea and coffee spoon for use in the café and for sale in the shop.
Director of Tate Britain, Penelope Curtis, said, “The new Tate Britain opens up the Millbank entrance to reassert and enhance the original grandeur and logic of the galleries. Adam Caruso and Peter St John have created new spaces out of old and artists have helped to articulate a new sense of the public realm.”
The new Tate Britain opens on the 19 November, with celebratory events throughout the day and evening on 23 November. Press view 18 November 2013.