This week I visited the new Tate Modern building and it actually left me a little teary eyed... I've been a member of Tate for 16 years (ouch - that's a really long time!), so walking into the new gallery, which is so wonderful it almost feels as if it were designed for me, made me feel rather odd (but in a good way).
As a member, I had the opportunity to visit on Wednesday (the gallery opens to the general public today). My trains were all broken and it was a little stressful getting in (especially as I had to get back for the school run) - so it was to be a bit of a flying visit. We queued around the block to get in, but the queue kept moving - despite this, as you can see from the images in this post - it felt spacious. I've somehow managed to get several shots without anyone in them at all! The stress of my journey into town vanished once I stepped inside.
There was a definite buzz in the queue and lots of gasps and exclamations as we walked in. The ceilings are high, the spaces are huge (and that's before you even step foot into the galleries themselves). I decided to bypass the rather crowded lifts and walk up the 10 flights of stairs (which warmed me up somewhat on a chilly June day!) and was totally unprepared for the amazing views from the observation deck on the top floor. Everyone was grinning from ear to ear - not as high as The Shard but you can see The Shard so better, no?!
This was the point where I thought about how much I love this city, and how this gallery has been my favourite place for most of the time we've lived here etc etc... so trying not to well up!
Back inside, I had a wander around each of the floors, taking in all the unexpected views and vast expanses of beautiful concrete.
I did spot a couple of notes on the comments board where people were asking where the art is... Now there are some pretty sizable gallery spaces in the new extension, but there's also a lot of space - I think this is a good thing though - it's nice to be able to mill around without feeling crowded - there were lots of us in there on Wednesday but it never felt too full (I expect that will be tested this weekend though!).
As I had limited time I didn't get to look at the galleries properly - but that doesn't matter - I can always go back (and I want to go and see Georgia O'Keefe in a few weeks anyway).
So I have a new favourite London building - yay! I wasn't completely sure about the exterior but now I've seen it finished and up close, I love it - never thought I'd say that about a new brick facade!
So if you get the chance make sure you visit the new building (and wear sensible shoes for all those stairs - they're not boring at least - they weave all over the place and present lots of different views, which go some way towards making up for the climb - if you don't mind a wait though there are of course lifts!).