I agree that the brick is definitely a better option, but its a shame it seems to dominate the original structure (maybe the perspective of photo?)
One of the main reasons i love the existing building is because it is such a 'force' and i hope the new extension dosn't steal its strength. Would like to see a view from the other side of the river to see what it does to the skyline?
Having just left the presentation for this build I have to say I'm reasonably happy with it. What isn't apparent from the main picture is that the facade is created from a lattice of perforated brick which means you can effectively see through the entire building and which adds a middle eastern flavour to the aesthetic.
Why pray would we wish yet another glass and steel affair into the area however 'wacky the box arrangement? That proposal never struck me as a finished design and besides, would prove difficult to justify on environmental terms alone as keeping such a structure cool during the summer months would be extremely costly.
I think both designs are banal and egotistical. I'm certainly not of the 'it must be in keeping' (read: the same size and material) brigade. But I do think that relationships between old and new are important and complicated and shouldn't be trivialised. The 3d renderings shown look like back of a fag packet narcissistic sketches jazzed up into pseudo-architecture by clever software. H&dM used to be sharp and provocative. Now they're just arrogant. Southwark should just tell them to naff off and leave the South Bank alone. I also don't happen to think that the Tate Modern fit out is much good - very frustrating to circulate around, already looking tatty, possessing no 'secret spaces' to discover. Boring.