Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'It's like Putting a Tower Block in the British Museum'; Tate Chief Slams Plan for 32-Storey Block of Flats near Gallery

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'It's like Putting a Tower Block in the British Museum'; Tate Chief Slams Plan for 32-Storey Block of Flats near Gallery

Article excerpt

Byline: ROWAN MOORE

IT TAKES a lot to make Sir Nicholas Serota angry in public.

Usually the Tate's director leaves it to others to scream and shout for or against the art shown in his museums.

But the developers London Town plc have provoked a rare show of wrath by proposing a skyscraper on Tate Modern's doorstep.

The 32 storey residential tower is, says Sir Nicholas, "an opportunistic attempt to cash in for private gain on the public benefits that have been created" by the opening of Tate Modern. "It will inevitably diminish the quality and value of the public space for millions of visitors," he claims.

The design "is not brilliant by any means", he adds. "It will "completely change the riverside setting. This is like proposing to build a tower block in the forecourt of the British Museum."

The glass and timber-clad tower is designed by Kevin Dash and Philip Gumuchdjian, a former associate of Ken Livingstone's architectural adviser, Lord Rogers. London Town is clearly hoping to win the Mayor's support for the project. …

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