The Tate Modern Opens New Switch House

London's riverside powerhouse opens a lavish expansion

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The rebooted Tate Modern comes after six-and-a-half years of digging, scaffolding, building, fund-raising and spending — about £260m in the case of the latter. There is now more than double the previous space for art and visitors, most visibly in Switch House, the 10-storey extension to the back of the building (which also has gallery space below it in The Tanks, on the site the former power station's oil tanks.)

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Of course, there's a second shop, a new bar and, for the first time, a restaurant, on Switch House's ninth floor, so you can sit and eat properly after a visit on a Friday or Saturday night. Yes, Tate Modern has just shot up the list of London date spots, especially given that atop Switch House is a viewing terrace, open to all. More impressive to a companion would be a drink in the Members Room on the eighth floor: equally spectacular view of the Thames without the breeze from it; no Joe Public.

How the Tate's new Switch House will appear by night
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You may wish to go for opening weekend, when a programme of free events, including mounted police in a Turbine Hall performance art piece, will likely pack the place out, or look beyond then to the forthcoming major exhibitions: American artists Georgia O'Keeffe (6 July–30 October) and Robert Rauschenberg (1 December–2 April 2017). Regardless, the best day to go is a Monday, Tate Modern's quietest of the week. There are far, far many less interesting ways to use a leftover day of annual leave. 

The new Tate Modern opens on 17 June