The Counterculture team worked closely with the Tate Modern Capital Project Team during the delivery, handover and commissioning stages of the Transforming Tate Modern project.
Having joined Tate to design and deliver the handover and commissioning, Counterculture was embedded in the internal project team throughout the process. We managed the furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) and client fit out of the Blavatnik Building, ensuring a timely and smooth end user handover of the spaces. Our role included advocacy and external stakeholder relationship management during the construction and delivery stages.
We joined Tate at a time of significant growth and transformation which posed considerable challenges to the internal teams. The Transforming Tate Modern project required all the departments at Tate Modern to plan their relocation pre-opening and post-opening activity in the new building while running the existing gallery spaces and maintaining ‘business as usual’, as the existing gallery spaces remained open throughout the project. Acting on behalf of, and effectively as part of, the client capital project team allowed Counterculture to engage and develop close working relationships with internal stakeholders and assist them with the planning and risk management related to the occupation of the new building. In order to achieve the right balance of efficacy and progress, we used the existing internal meeting structure to ensure internal communication and an overall momentum of the project, and created a number of sub groups with staff directly responsible for planning the relocation to the new building within their departments.
We led the internal and external stakeholder engagement throughout the construction stage of project delivery. Working alongside and embedded in the capital project team enabled relationship building with key department staff and senior management across Tate. We planned and delivered regular project progress updates on site for all-Tate staff and carried out regular department staff site visits throughout the construction phase of the project. Engaging with key staff face to face and showing them work in progress on ‘their’ future spaces allowed us to develop relationships which were crucial for the end user fit out conversations that followed.
Our role at Tate Modern included the planning, management and delivery of the client fit out, including procurement of client fit out packages and loose FF&E. Working with Herzog & de Meuron and Aecom, the quantity surveyor, we created a database of Room Data Sheets outlining the specification, base build and FF&E items for each of the spaces in the new building. We then identified the end users for all the areas and reviewed this information with them during a series of consultation meetings. The purpose of these meetings was twofold – to confirm the base build provision and specification, which had been agreed historically and could not be altered, and agree and finalise client fit out requirements. This involved often challenging discussions about the capital build provision, and its limitations, and how it could be utilised to fulfil the spatial and programmatic requirements of the current end users. The discussions of the base build provision were balanced by revision of the FF&E requirements which allowed more flexibility.