Archive 2016 08

Unique Building Building with a difference Showcasing unique and unusual construction projects A look at the re-Modern-ised Tate THE new-look and expanded Tate Modern in London opened its doors in June following a £260 million revamp and Ramboll director Martin Burden considers it “a real privilege to have played such a pivotal role” in the project. The global engineering consultancy provided structural, geotechnical, civil, façade engineering and environmental consultancy services for the new 10-storey art gallery extension, which stands 65 metres tall and provides a better experience for visitors. The expansion of the world-famous art museum, undertaken by architects Herzog & de Meuron, includes additional education spaces, retail areas, a café and offices. Billed as the UK’s most important new cultural building since the British Library, the Tate Modern extension has been built on top of its three awe-inspiring disused oil tanks. Positioned in a clover leaf shape, each one spans approximately 30 metres and is located nine metres below ground. Two of the three oil tanks create new unique gallery spaces for large-scale artists’ installations, performances and film. Rising above the oil tanks is the new building’s complex form, with an irregular ground plan largely dictated by the constraints of the site. Rising in a truncated twisting pyramid, the building has sharp corners and inward creases, breaking the façade into interesting geometries — in response to its location on the site of the former Bankside Power Station. Tying the buildings together visually are the external materials, where the brickwork forms a sloping perforated screen encasing the building, punctuated by a series of windows. The two buildings connect at levels zero and one, and at four via a new link bridge. At the double-height top floor, glazed curtain-walling is set back from the façade to form a roof terrace with 360 degree views of the river Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and London’s skyline. “The Tate Modern extension is a truly groundbreaking building that pushes the boundaries of modern design and engineering,” says Burden. “From the one-of-a-kind geometric structure to the striking brick façade, every facet of this building has been planned and www.builderandengineer.10 engineered with staggering precision. It is a fitting extension to one of the world’s leading galleries, and will ensure that the art exhibited by Tate Modern can continue to enthral future generations. “From threading the buildings foundations around the oil tanks to defining the structure and the building envelope, we’ve realised the architectural vision and helped to create an iconic building that reflects the status of Tate Modern brand.” Challenging geometry The unique complex geometry impacted many aspects of the building, including the brick arrangement, windows and precast façade panels, internal structure, scaffold. The external arrangement creates an interesting array of internal display spaces with its sloping façade and not a single right angle, every floor offers something unique, with vast cathedral like public spaces in and around its four feature staircases. The lower floors of the new building and the partially re-built Switch House floors boast large rooms with spans of up to 18 metres. Achieving these clear spans, while being able to accommodate the essential loading conditions, was very important for Tate Modern displays. The structure The main structural scheme comprises both reinforced concrete and steel-framed construction. The concrete frame to the tower is braced by concrete cores and has been carefully coordinated with the remaining basement structure of the oil stores and terrace to establish a relationship with the raw character of the existing industrial architecture. Much of the existing level 00 basement space has been retained with openings formed in the large existing retaining wall to create new through access routes to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. At ground level, the concrete frame emerges out of the concrete underworld in the form of a faceted pyramid. Deep transfer beams, both internally and at the building’s perimeter, facilitate a change in geometry and provide a base for the tower structure to ascend upwards. Photo: Daniel Shearing Photo: Daniel Shearing

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