Uxus designs "permanently temporary" gift shop for Herzog & de Meuron's extended Tate Modern


Amsterdam studio Uxus has designed a gift shop with stackable shelving for the new Tate Modern extension, which is set to open to the public this week (+ slideshow).

New shop inside the Tate Modern extension designed by UXUS

The store is housed at the base of the angular gallery, designed by original Tate Modern architects Herzog & de Meuron.

It will be divided into three zones – generalist, specialist and children. Each zone is defined by the material palette, which uses different accents of wood for the display modules.

New shop inside the Tate Modern extension designed by UXUS

Throughout the gift shop, a purpose-designed system of stackable furniture and modules allows displays to be reconfigured to keep up with changing exhibitions and events.

In the children's area, brightly coloured, circular cubbyholes are incorporated into the bookshelves.

New shop inside the Tate Modern extension designed by UXUS

"Tate is a pioneering global institution that leads the way in the arts and now is breaking new ground with a retail experience at the crossroads of culture and commerce," said Uxus.

"[The shop] is designed as a permanently temporary space with the flexibility to respond to the gallery's fast-changing exhibition and project schedule."

New shop inside the Tate Modern extension designed by UXUS

Uxus, which has previously designed spaces for Nike and K-Swiss, first worked with the Tate Modern to design a pop-up shop for its Damien Hirst exhibition in 2012.

"The hope is that the new retail outlet will enable the gallery to generate more of its own funding through increased store revenue," they said.

New shop inside the Tate Modern extension designed by UXUS

Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron was invited to work on the new wing following the success of its design for the main building – a conversion of the former Bankside Power Station designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.

The perforated walls of the new addition are intended to resonate with the 64-year-old brickwork of the old power station, while its height is two-thirds that of the now-defunct chimney.

New shop inside the Tate Modern extension designed by UXUS

"We wanted the combined elements of Tate Modern, old and new, to be expressed as a whole, to have them come together and function as a single organism," said Herzog & de Meuron, describing the building back in 2011.

"Using the same base palette of bricks and brickwork in a radical new way, we created a perforated brick screen through which light filters in the day and through which the building will glow at night."

Photography is by Ed Reeve.

  • stutelf

    I think I’d be a much richer man if I could say things like “permanently temporary” with a straight face.

  • david

    I think this is a very mediocre store design. Looks more like some high street bookshop that got a semi-posh makeover to attract new costumers to its dying business model.

    ‘Stackable’ furniture, seriously? Everyone and everything does that. Of course a space needs to adjust to merchandise, isn’t that what stores are supposed to do? They found a very boring form for this modern institute. Tasteful at best.

  • Manky

    Having just come back from a recce of the H&dM space (do you like my acronym? It’s almost cheap clothing…), I’m a little depressed.

    The structure looks good from some angles but mostly thoughtless social housing circa 1973 from others. But it’s the interiors that are the direst. Odd spaces that neither inspire nor let the art breathe. And the windows…my god, the windows; it’s like being in a prison, and not in a good way.