Opened in 2016, the enormous £260 million extension designed by Herzog & de Meuron gave the Tate Modern 60 per cent more exhibition space. But on its one year anniversary, it will now be renamed from Switch House (in reference to its history as a power station) to the Blavatnik Building.
In honour of philanthropist Len Blavatnik, the change follows a donation of over £50 million made back in 2011. “My family and I are honoured to support Tate, and to be linked to this exceptional building,” said Blavatnik in a statement, “Tate provides incomparable service to the arts, culture and education throughout the world.”
While the Blavatnik Family Foundation has offered weighty donations to other institutions in the UK such as the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Musuem and the Royal Academy of Arts, among others, this marks a record-shattering amount for both the Tate and the UK. “The transformation and extension of Tate Modern was hugely ambitious and relied on many people to bring it to fruition, but Len Blavatnik’s enthusiastic support ensured the successful realization of the project and I am delighted that the new building now bears his name,” Tate’s soon departing director Nicholas Serota said in a statement. “The six million visitors who have already experienced the Blavatnik Building since it opened in June 2016 know what a huge difference it has made to Tate Modern and to London.”
For more information visit tate.org.uk