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First look at Caruso St John's Tate Britain revamp

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Caruso St John’s £45 million overhaul of the Tate Britain will open to the public tomorrow (19 November)

Seven years after winning the commission (see AJ 20.12.06), the practice has completed the long-awaited revamp of the oldest part of the grade II*-listed Millbank building in central London.

The main entrance has been reopened and much of the building’s original architectural features have been restored.

A new spiral staircase inside the entrance provides access to new public spaces below including new café spaces, education areas, and a new archive gallery presenting displays from the Tate archive.

A circular balcony around Tate Britain’s domed atrium has been reopened for the first time since the 1920s, creating ‘a light-filled space overlooking the Thames’.

The floor to the rotunda has been remade in terrazzo, using a pattern that recalls the original marble mosaic floor.

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 Members Room at Tate Britain

The new Members Room at Tate Britain

Project data

Location London
Type of project art gallery
Client Tate Britain
Architect Caruso St John 
Project manager Deloitte
Construction manager Lend Lease
Building services engineer Max Fordham LLP
Structural engineer Alan Baxter & Associates LLP
Cost consultant Turner & Townsend
Planning consultant Deloitte
Planning received July 2010
Completion date November 2013

Previous story (AJ 20.12.06)

Caruso St John to rework Tate Britain

The Tate has chosen Caruso St John to mastermind the redevelopment of the Tate Britain gallery at Millbank, central London.

The practice was selected ahead of five other architects, including DSDHA, to land the prestigious project to modernise key areas within the existing Grade II*-listed building.

HOK International, de Rijke Marsh Morgan, MUMA and Rick Mather Architects also missed out on becoming the first architects to work in the gallery since John Miller - who completed his Centenary Development in 2001.

Rick Mather withdrew before the completion of the selection exercise.

Caruso St John has been taken on initially for five years and will be asked to look at reworking the entrance to the building and the Clore Gallery.

According to a gallery spokesman, the firm stood out ‘because it showed the best understanding of the challenges posed by the building.’

The spokesman added: ‘The selection panel was impressed by Caruso St John’s combination of a strong analytical approach with a sympathy for the art that is shown in the gallery.’

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