Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Katherine Shonfield

  • Comment

Indulging in sour grapes is an accepted role of the columnist.

Consequently I have looked forward eagerly to pricking the ever-expanding bubble of the Tate Modern. Tragically, it is completely apparent that not only is the Tate Modern one of the great architectural successes of the past 20 years, but that its appearance on London's landscape has been handled with consummate skill.

The Dome - and every other major public construction - should take the Tate's correspondence course. Key rules include:

Twenty private views or opening events before entering into the public realm. This speaks both of an almost lyrical co-ordination between contract completion and public relations, and a proper recognition that a building of this scale signifies different things to different groups of people, who all have interests in it An eye for the main chance.

Given the notorious journalistic habit of dressing up the opinions of cab drivers as popular feeling, it was inspired to exploit London's cabbie cabal, and issue a special Black Cab invitation, giving them the run of the place at least a month before the building's final televised glitterati opening Don't play cat and mouse with the media. Karl Sabbagh televised the Tate's development from its inception.

This meant that an exceptionally informed and experienced architectural film-maker communicated a real understanding of the project's progress, not least the use of public money. The market for ignorant, fly-on-the-wall sniping was consequently non existent Get benefactors not sponsors. The Tate beautifully exploited the fact that giving is one of life's greatest pleasures.

Sponsors invariably dictate: benefactors compete with each other in feats of munificent faith Make your building fulfil a known public need. Enough said.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.