London SE1 community website

Put up a net curtain: Tate boss’s riposte to Neo Bankside neighbours

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota has advised residents of Neo Bankside to put up blinds or net curtains after Tate Modern faced complaints from the adjacent luxury development about gallery visitors gawping at their homes.

Neo Bankside
The view of Neo Bankside from the Switch House at Tate Modern
Put up a net curtain: Tate boss’s riposte to Neo Bankside neighbours
Tate has put up these signs in the viewing gallery

Tate Modern opened its Switch House extension in June, which includes a top-floor public balcony offering views in all directions.

Visitors to the viewing gallery get a close-up view of the homes in the multimillion pound development on the opposite side of Holland Street.

Neo Bankside has floor-to-ceiling windows and Tate Modern visitors have an ideal vantage point to assess the interior decor choices of the neighbours.

Some residents have complained to Tate – and sought legal advice – over what they regard as a breach of their privacy.

We asked Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota about the Neo Bankside controversy at Tate's annual press conference on Wednesday morning.

He said: "We have put up some signs to encourage our visitors not to gesticulate and to recognise that people who live nearby have a right to some privacy.

"Obviously that privacy would be enhanced if those people decided that they might put up a blind or a net curtain or whatever – as is common in many places.

"I need to repeat the fact that people purchasing those flats were in no doubt that Tate Modern was going to build its new Switch House building, and the character and uses of that building were widely known. Therefore people clearly purchased with their eyes wide open."

Listen to audio

Do the Neo Bankside residents have a legitimate complaint?

Join the discussion right now
The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.