Power of Art–When Culture&Art into Space
Tate Modern - the modern art museum that attracts the largest number of visitors per year
“Twenty years ago, what you see was just a discarded bankside power station. Now it become a modern art museum that attracts the largest number of visitors annually in the world,” according to Nick Serota, director of Tate Modern. “We expected 2 million visitors annually when it opened. And now the number increased to 5 million,” he added.
The power station on the south bank of the Thames, London, had been redundant since 1981, and it was prudently regenterated into Tate Modern in 2000.
To highlight the industrial character of the original building during regeneration, the 99m-high chimney of the power station was restored as a landmark, paralleling to the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral; meanwhile, the 3400㎡ turbine workshop was converted into a 5m-high dramatic display area - Turbine Hall, via digging down to its foundation. Every year, Tate Modern will invite an international artist to tailor-make an installation artwork for the Hall. Those large-scale artworks have endowed Tate Modern with the maximum sensory experience, advocated a new artistic understanding and tension, and also made Tate Modern well-known around the world. This is indeed the charm of urban renewal projects. No one wants to construct such a large space with a huge investment. Instead, based on the existing building space, planting appropriate functions and content can unleash the unique potential and economic benefit of spaces. As one of the three major tourist attractions, Tate Modern brings at least about GBP 100 million of business profit for London annually.
As a vital part of culture-oriented urban renewal in Bankside area, the waterfront square in front of the art gallery is a venue to hold social activities for visitors and offer a more open, diverse and mixed public place for the south bank area. Now, Bankside has transformed into one of the largest gathering place of art centers in the world from a poor and declining old industrial area. Meanwhile, it also uplifts the shabby surrounding areas, with the nearby premium residence as the strong evidence.
Tate Modern demonstrates that the regeneration of industrial heritage should not only conform to the historical protection and functional requirements of the building itself, but also advance the overall process of urban renewal from a point to an area.
The Bilbao Effect - Whether a museum can change a city’s destiny?
London has renewaled the waterfront and revitalized the traditional industrial city via leveraging the power of art, while Bilbao's urban renewal under the artistic triggering effect is more dramatic.
In 1997, Guggenheim Museum, with a cost of €84 million, was completed in dispute. With unimaginable architectural form, it shaped a new urban image in the shortest time, thus presenting a great turning point for the declining Bilbao due to severe floods and long-term industrial crisis. Statistics shows that even the collection of this art gallery remains the same, its own artistic value still constantly attracts visitors from around the world. According to the research of McKinsey & Company, in 2013， it attracted over 1 million visitors, of which at least half of them are from abroad. With only 6 years, the project start-up capital investment has all been earned back. Meanwhile, it has brought more than EUR 100 million of revenue to Bilbao.
As an initiative in the urban revitalization plan of Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum has brought confidence and courage to Bilbao citizens and politicians to forge ahead unswervingly, and at the same time it has uplifted the overall development of art industry, promoted the relocation of relevant industries, and developed a new layout combining emerging art industries.
Surely, the economic transformation and urban regeneration of a city cannot be realized by just a museum. Besides a strategical development planning, forming a industrial chain is necessary to ensure the stamina and sustainability of overall urban revitalization. This model case, which utilizes cultural products to activate urban and economic development, is called The Bilbao Effect. Under this effect, Bilbao has transformed into a culture &art-oriented service city from a industrial port city over the 20 years.
The success of Bilbao effect is a creative industrial chain formed in the cooperation and interaction among different interest groups during urban regeneration, bringing brand-new vitality to the city and genuine momentum to economic development.
Shanghai Museum of Glass - How many glass museums does Baoshan need to activate the whole district?
“For the public, a museum can not only help them comb and learn about the past and history of a city, but also explore the endless possibility of the future. More importantly, it has changed the relationship between man and art,” Zhang Lin said.
From its opening in 2011 to now, Shanghai Museum of Glass has been growing continuously. It maintains the basic structure of the site’s existing factory, expressing its original details, and adding art, culture and creativity into the industrial space, making them connect and interact with each other. As for space shaping, one can see the new and old element of the buildings from both the outside and inside. In this avant-garde space, simple lines sketch out unique post-industrial style - a blending of history and future.
Over the past 8 years (2011-2019), the area of buildings and supporting facilities in the Museum Park has expanded to 20,220㎡ from 3,500㎡. Originating with the main museum hall and the Hot Glass Performance Hall, it has evolved into a G+Park that focuses on glass art and boasts 20 exhibition halls with distinctive themes. The total number of visitors has exceeded 1 million. Shanghai Museum of Glass has realized its transformation from industrialization to modernization in through constant self-iteration.
Positioned as a “Type Two Museum” and a glass museum that focuses on young families, Shanghai Museum of Glass shoulders the responsibility of culture and art communication, public education, etc. It has long been presenting various exhibitions and public activities for the publics, with 51 educational events and 57 public ones held in 2017. Those events keep attracting visitors, making the space vigorous all the time. Both social and economic benefits are achieved, and its revenue has reached a ten fold increase over the 8 years, jumping to over RMB 37 million in 2017 from RMB 4 million in 2011.
It is the continuous investment for the museum’s growing demand, especially the increasing cost for events and activities, which leads to some spillover effect on its growing to critical point, such as upgrading land added value. As a leading project, Shanghai Museum of Glass has promoted the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones in the culture and art industrial chain development of Baoshan district, advanced the transformation of Baowu Baoshan Area, attracted the art and culture system of universities, and worked with Sense Time to create intelligent cultural and creative industrial clusters.
Shanghai Museum of Glass has become the model of urban renewal due to the following factors: first, it involves art that conforms to the city’s character, and provides citizens with a unimaginable museum lifestyle. Like an organic creature, it thrives and becomes a cultural carrier to attract repeated visits of the public; second, it has established a benchmark for the long-term global planning of local government to effectively drive the virtuous development of Baoshan district.
During urban renewal, we aim to unleash the energy of culture and art, create characteristic urban resource elements, develop unique space and industrial catalyst effect, and promote the development of growing space in the whole area. The influx of new population and industries will bring a steady stream of urban vitality, thus forming a virtuous revival cycle. Besides, artistic tension plays an indispensable role in creating space experience.