different façade elements


different glass types


horizontal windows

new tate modern

Since 2000, a former power station in the London borough of Southwark has been the home of the Tate Modern Museum. This gallery of modern art needed an extension and so architects Herzog & de Meuron have designed a new 11-storey tower in the form of a truncated pyramid with a twisted plan form to complement their original conversion work. The facing clay brickwork façade to the extension serves as a bond between old and new. The texture and perforations of the envelope play with the perception of the observer: Sometimes the brick wall appears open, at other times closed, permeable or impermeable, depending on viewing angle and time of day. Horizontal window strips, mostly continuing around the corners, plus a few narrow vertical windows break up the clay brickwork and allow selected views of the outside world.

  • A frame of precast concrete components forms the basic structure for the extension. The aluminium façade elements, supplied by seele and fixed to precast concrete corbels, are fitted in front of the frame. The corbels also support the clay brick outer skin. The unusual geometry of this structure called for seele’s all-round engineering expertise: The façade rises at five different angles, and twists and turns as well. With numerous different openings, fixed lights and structural glazing units, the result is almost 1,805 different window elements. All the window sections comply with the necessary sealing and thermal insulation requirements. And everything is accomplished with minimum space between the precast concrete components, which means minimum erection tolerances.

    The sloping glass sliding doors in the entrance zone plus the vertical window strips extending over several floors are among the special constructional features of this project.

    Images: © Iwan Baan


Client The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery
Architect Herzog & de Meuron
Engineer Mace Ltd., London
Structural planning Ramboll UK
Date of completion 2016
Scope of work by seele
  • 200sqm glass entrance façade with sliding doors
  • 1,400sqm horizontal “clear slot” glazing
  • 1,600sqm horizontal “brickwork screened” glazing
  • 2,289 façade elements (windows, doors, fixed lights, panels)
  • approx. 520sqm rooflight glazing for the “Switch House”
  • 351 motorised internal roller blinds (sunshades)
  • 100sqm vertical window strips in the stick system
  • 110sqm external louvres