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Tate Modern extension costs rise by £45million

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Building inflation and an increase in project scope have pushed Herzog & de Meuron’s extension to London’s Tate Modern 21 per cent over its original budget

The gallery announced today that the 10-storey building is set to open on 17 June next year, more than seven years after gaining planning permission.

Tate bosses confirmed that the original estimated project cost of £215 million in 2012 prices has risen to £260 million.

Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, told Architects Journal: ‘When we drew up the original budget in 2006, we couldn’t have anticipated the sharp rise in building cost inflation that London has seen – that has been a big factor.’

But he also said that part of the rise is accounted for by the project’s scope extending to include refurbishment of the existing gallery, also designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

Serota said: ‘I didn’t want to be in the position of opening this perfect new extension next to something that was shabby in some areas.

‘We thought it would be easier to include work such as renewing the toilets and members bar in this budget rather than starting a separate fundraising effort.’

Earlier, Serota told assembled journalists that the Tate still has to raise £30 million to reach the £260 million target.

He said: ‘I and the trustees are absolutely confident that we will raise that. We have a brilliant record of reaching targets for fundraising projects, including the £7 million Tate St Ives extension.’

Lord Browne, chairman of the Tate trustees, said the project was one of the most complex he had ever seen delivered.

He said: ‘It would have been easier for us to build an office building that was square and nobody would have noticed and it probably would have been torn down in 20 or 30 years when someone had a better idea. This is very different – It really is a building that will last a very long time indeed.’

Denton Djurasdvich, a management consultant who owns a flat overlooking the new development, told Architects Journal that the pace of the project had picked up in recent months.
He said: ‘I went to a meeting last night and they were making unequivocal statements rather than the caveated ones about progress we were getting this time last year.
‘It is really shaping up. They have made brick look modern and sexy and at night it lights up like a big lantern.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Chris Rogers

    "renewing the toilets and members bar in this budget rather than starting a separate fundraising effort." You might want to look at the lifts, too, which haven't worked properly since opening and are indeed now so poor that visitors are actually actively discouraged from using them.

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  • Interesting figures: Overrun on Tate Modern Budget of £215 million - £45 million!. Cost of Tate St Ives extension £7 million! Puts everything in perspective.

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