Tate Modern Extension

The Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern art, housed in the former Bankside Power Station in North Southwark. Our client was particularly interested in how much internal artificial light would spill into the immediate vicinity and surrounding buildings from the galleries, which often remain open until the late evening. Our brief was therefore to provide light pollution and solar glare analysis for the extension. As a public space and one which needs to draw people to enjoy art, it’s particularly important that those in the space feel comfortable and relaxed.

We carried out detailed analysis, adopting a dual approach that combined 3D computer modelling and night time surveying of the existing site to establish the level of light spill into the residential streets around the site.

The extension was one of very complex geometry, consisting of various box-shaped forms stacked on top of each other. It was therefore crucial to prevent the extension’s specular surfaces and shiny facades from dazzling the general public and cars passing by outside. We were able to produce a set of highly realistic 3D visualisations and short films that clearly identified any problematic solar glare areas. This combined methodology has been recognised by experts within the industry as raising the standard of reflected solar glare and light pollution analysis.

Our development of a tailored methodology for this project has been recognised as groundbreaking in raising the standard of solar glare and light pollution analysis.


Tate Modern


Herzog & de Meuron