An Egyptian Temple on the Thames

architects Herzog & de Meuron
project Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom
written by Nada Beroš


In London the taxi drivers are discussing the museum with such passion you would think they were talking about a football match. They are all informed, they all know all there is to know about the Tate Modern, the newest and one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the world. Charles Jencks believes that in the past couple of years the topic of museum has been overstated. The phenomenon that this guru of postmodernism calls bilbaoism, and here he is alluding to the social regeneration of the Basque capital thanks to Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, has captured all parts of this planet, which is sufficiently covered with a thick weave of museums. Irrespective whether their concept is dominated by an idea of museums as secular cathedrals or whether they prefer the idea of museums as shopping centres, the smell of food from museum restaurants is mingling more and more often with the “elated” scents of exhibition halls. Was not the smell of food present even in medieval cathedrals as pilgrims had to satisfy their physical needs after a long and strenuous journey, Jencks wonders.