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Contractors World - INTERNATIONAL
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Contractors World INTERNATIONAL - 2016 Vol 7 No 4

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No: 6 2016





Tate Modern Gallery's Ultra-Futuristic Extension - page 4 of 6


The scope of works included the provision of access decks, protection, acoustic screens, specialist concrete and brickwork cutting, structural steel work, specialist glazing adaptations and the construction of new structural floor slabs.

The gallery remained open during the work and the contractors worked closely with the client to preserve their visitors’ experience.

Concrete Frame

Braced by its two internal cores, the concrete frame to the tower has been carefully coordinated with the remaining basement structure of the oil stores and terrace to establish a relationship with the raw character of the existing industrial architecture.

The main structural scheme comprises both reinforced concrete and steel-framed construction. Much of the existing basement space has been preserved, with openings formed in the large existing retaining wall to create new through access routes to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

At ground level, the frame emerges out of the concrete underworld in the form of a faceted pyramid. Deep transfer beams, both internally and at the building’s perimeter, facilitate a change in geometry and provide a base for the tower structure to ascend.

The two large internal reinforced concrete cores were essentially designed and constructed in jump form as solid boxes, with localised openings and exposed surfaces to create the aesthetically pleasing finish that was so critical.

Ramboll’s passion for design is seen throughout this building, with countless numbers of concrete options explored for the exposed areas, to be sure of the best end result.

The final concrete solution specified was 40% GGBS; a grade which not only ensures a light and smooth finish with sharp edges, but also has lower CO2 , resulting in a lower carbon footprint.

The very limited number of internal columns (only three on the lower floors and six above level 06) are strategically positioned to maximise the internal spans, and emphasize the internal spaces. Meanwhile, the continuous precast perimeter columns crank to form the ‘creases’ in the envelope of the building.

Containing a core of structural steel at critical locations to provide slenderness, the precast perimeter columns are cruciform in profile, with ‘arms’ to support the precast cladding panels, glazing and brickwork.

Walls were designed to coordinate with the services design, ensuring that all cables were cast into the walls during construction and none were left exposed.

Futuristic twists and angles change the appearance of the Tate Modern Extension in different lights and when viewed from different position.     Floor plates are formed of long span in-situ concrete ribs, which support both the concrete floor plate and the precast concrete soffit planks.

Futuristic twists and angles change the appearance of the Tate Modern Extension in different lights and when viewed from different position.

The services are located in the raised floor, dropping through carefully coordinated holes in the rib beams into the service slots below and cast-in cooling coils within the precast concrete soffit panels.

On level 10 an open terrace is located around the perimeter of the building. The ‘open’ terrace, with hanging perimeter columns to the north elevation, is achieved by spanning deep steel beams from the main core and cantilevering from the central and perimeter columns where required.
In the Switch House, the existing steel frame was removed above level 03. A new steel frame now bridges the resulting void between the reinforced concrete tower structure and new steel columns adjacent to the existing Turbine Hall columns, providing 18 m clear spans to the galleries.

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