Corner Tate Modern

Tate Enterprises

London, UK

Conceived as an extension of the public realm, Holland Harvey and Tate Modern have linked two of London’s most iconic spaces, the Southbank and the Turbine Hall, via a new entrance onto the gallery's lawns.

Working with Tate Eats, the revitalised café and bar is designed to celebrate accessibility and inclusivity—the organisation's core themes—to create an informal, playful setting that is welcoming for all from morning until night.

At its core, this is a place for food and congregation. The scheme encompasses a bar, food servery, retail and coffee counter as the café's focus. These functions are accommodated within one continuous counter expressed in bold geometric forms that echo the monumental structures of the original power station.

The animation and excitement of a busy, open kitchen offer Tate Eats an opportunity to showcase its product and celebrate the provenance of its food.

The Turbine Hall entrance © Ed Bishop

A new entrance has been added to the South Bank © Jack Hobhouse

Bar detail © Jack Hobhouse

Turbine Hall terrace © Jack Hobhouse

A short video of the project © Jim Stephenson

Low Impact Design

The ambition was to develop a timeless, modern design that respects its post-industrial context. Tactile, robust materials that exude warmth and softness were chosen to complement the harder surfaces for which the building is known. Material choices explore themes of the circular economy, decarbonisation and social impact. For example, Tate’s original oak floors were sanded back and refinished, and the existing Tate furniture was restored and reupholstered to minimise the project’s embodied carbon.

An early concept drawing of the bar from the Southbank entrance

An early concept drawing of the retail space from the Turbine Hall entrance

Circularity & Social Impact

To reference the gallery’s riverside location, salvaged shells have been mixed with waste coffee grounds from Tate’s roastery to create bespoke table tops by Spared.

Social enterprise Goldfinger recovered diseased ash from local councils to create beautifully crafted furniture: the organisation supports marginalised young people from its local community in the art of woodworking through an apprenticeship programme and through its on-site community café.

The coordinates of each felled tree have been laser etched into each piece to help tell the product’s story. These tables are now available to purchase through Tate Shop, extending the initiative's impact by supporting Goldfinger’s initiative through private sales to the public.

Tables made from oyster shells and waste coffee grounds by Spared © Jack Hobhouse

Tate collection by Goldfinger © Goldfinger

Table and benches from the Tate Collection by Goldfinger © Ed Bishop

High tables overlook the outdoor seating © Jack Hobhouse

Retail area © Jack Hobhouse

A family enjoying the view © Ed Bishop

Design Process

Holland Harvey has engaged with Tate’s curatorial team to coordinate a programme of temporary and permanent art installations throughout the space that reflects the themes explored within the design.

The design process has been guided by engagement with multiple, complex stakeholders, including the Tate Modern's Director emeritus, Frances Morris, the Estates department and Tate Eats, our client and operator.

Other challenges have included working with the gallery’s existing, complex building services with minimal disruption to the gallery. Lighting design by There’s Light will help define different spaces and mark the transition from day-time cafe to night-time bar.

Food and coffee counter © Ed Bishop