Large Multipurpose Circular Presentation Space at Tate Modern
Tate is an institution that houses, in a network of four art museums, the United Kingdom’s national collection of British art, and international modern and contemporary art.
The design brief for this particular project at the Tate Modern in London was to create a large multipurpose circular presentation space in what used to be a large oil storage tank.
The Tanks were previously used to store oil when the gallery was a power station. The huge circular spaces in the foundations of the Blavatnik Building were kept to house new art. No longer generating electricity, the Tanks generate ideas, creative energy and new possibilities for artists and audiences. The raw, industrial, subterranean spaces, each measuring over thirty metres across and seven metres high are the world’s first museum galleries, permanently dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film.
The space design needed to be flexible to accommodate lighting, projection, video displays, speaker arrays, cameras and microphones in addition to being compatible with the very latest technologies. The design we created consisted of a custom grid array at high level with a layout of connection points. As well as providing the containment for all the cabling the design of the grid allowed for direct attachment of suspended lighting, projections systems, microphone and speaker arrays and other appropriate equipment. This was repeated at low level in floor boxes and a concealed channel around the space perimeter which concealed further connectivity.
Circuits of various kinds were provided including broadcast industry standard conventional copper audio and video connectivity, lighting and associated control connections with both copper and optical fibre data circuits. All circuits were routed back to a central control room area with a viewing window looking directly into the presentation space. Connectivity was provided to equipment racks with patching and matrix routing for signals and lighting control. All racks were set up to allow direct connection of appropriate temporary equipment being used for the events and displays. These circuits were connected in turn to a custom control desk to allow live choreography of presentations and events or automated control of exhibition displays and technology.
The Tanks now provide a permanent gallery for live art, performances and a film and video work from the Tate collection.
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