Bankside Power Station
Bankside Power Station is a former oil-fired power station, located on the south bank of the River Thames, in the Bankside district of London. It generated electricity from 1952 to 1981. Since 2000 the station's building has been used to house the Tate Modern art museum.

The station was commissioned following a power shortage in 1947. The building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the designer of Liverpool Cathedral, Battersea Power Station and the Red telephone box. The building is a 200 m (660 ft) long, steel framed, brick clad building with a substantial central chimney which stands at 99 m (325 ft). The chimney's height was limited to less than the spire of St Paul's Cathedral, which already stood on the direct opposite side of the river. Despite strong local opposition, Scott's design was completed and accepted within a year. Construction work was completed in two phases, and was not entirely completed until 1963. The western portion of the building was completed first and started generating power in 1952. The final structure roughly divided the building into three - the huge main turbine hall in the centre, with the smaller boiler room to one side and the switching room to the other. The station had four oil-fired generators. Rising oil prices made the station uneconomic, resulting in its closure in 1981.

Tate Modern
Main article Tate Modern For many years Bankside Power station was at great risk of being demolished by developers. Many people campaigned for the building to be saved and put forward suggestions for possible new uses. An application to list the building was refused. In the spring of 1993 the building's fate looked doomed, contractors had already knocked a large hole in the side of the building and had started removing much of the redundant plant. The BBC television programme ' One Foot in the Past' focused on the impending threat to the building. The reporter, Gavin Stamp , made an impassioned plea for the building to be saved. However, in April 1994 the Tate Gallery announced that Bankside would be the home for the new Tate Modern. In July of the same year, an international competition was launched to select an architect for the new gallery. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron were announced as the winning architects in January 1995. The £134 million conversion to the Tate Modern started in June 1995 with the removal of the remaining redundant plant. The conversion was completed in January 2000. The most obvious external change is the blocky two-story glass extension on one half of the roof. Much of the internal structure remains, including the cavernous main turbine hall, which retains the overhead travelling crane. An electrical substation, taking up the southern third of the building, remained on-site and owned by the French power company EDF Energy. In 2006, EDF announced that they would be releasing half this holding to the museum. Scott's other London power station is at Battersea and is widely considered a more iconic design, with its four towers. Battersea Power Station was proposed for the Tate Modern but, due to financial constraints and less dilapidation, the smaller Bankside building was chosen.

Many episodes of British television, particularly science fiction series that have required industrial backdrops, such as Red Dwarf , were filmed at the station. The station also served as Tower of London in the 1995 film version of Richard III . In its modern incarnation as the Tate Modern, the building's exterior is featured at the beginning of the premier episode of Ashes to Ashes .

Building Activity

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