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Rogers reveals Tate Modern hinterland regeneration plan

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Lord Rogers has unveiled his proposals for the regeneration of the rundown hinterland behind London's Tate Modern - but architects will have to wait for the chance to work on the art gallery itself.

The Herzog and de Meuron-designed conversion of the former Bankside power station is now one year old, but vast spaces remain derelict.

Tate director Nicholas Serota said he had 'no absolute plans' for the gallery's extension, but confirmed that an architectural competition to convert the remaining space would be announced within the next 12 to 18 months. The work will not automatically be awarded to Herzog and de Meuron.

The £135 million raised for the original project was not enough to convert the entire building, Serota said. 'We had a scheme that we thought was realistic, with funds of £135 million, but we also wanted to learn lessons from the experience of running the gallery for a year or so, ' he added.

Timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the opening of the gallery on the south bank of the Thames, the launch of Lord Rogers' Bankside Urban Study is the start of an effort to regenerate a vast chunk of Southwark down to the Elephant and Castle. Lord Rogers proposes to build a huge covered square behind the gallery and to embark on a programme of tree planting, traffic calming and the building of shops, restaurants and cafes. He has also identified currently rundown open spaces for improvement (such as the addition of a community centre in Mint Street Park), and suggests using Victorian railway arches for the display of public art.

'There is no urban regeneration without social regeneration - the two go hand in hand, ' said Lord Rogers, who emphasized the importance of community involvement in the development of the proposals.

Lord Rogers also appealed to private developers and the owners of buildings surrounding the gallery to buy in to the project - in particular Land Securities, the London School of Economics and Royal and Sun Alliance.

Three versions of the scheme have been developed. The first involves little private assistance and limited landscaping around the Tate. The second option, one of 'semi co-ordinated development', allows for the creation of the new square, street closures and the building of public housing.

Option three is described as a 'remarkable regeneration project' that involves the demolition of buildings and the creation of extra public gardens.

'If everyone takes the opportunity of creating a great public area around the Tate and knitting it together into a comprehensive whole, then there is a lot to be gained, ' said Lord Rogers.

He and Serota stressed that the ideas were a set of options only, and that a masterplan would be developed after consultation with Southwark Council and the Greater London Authority.

A finished scheme would be in place in five to 10 years, they said.

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