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Visit The Wapping Project

Home > London > Art
Published March 8th 2011
If you were to climb onto the roof of the Tate Modern building with a giant catapult designed to hurl humans vast distances and then launch yourself eastwards along the River Thames, there's a degree of chance, albeit a slim one, that you would land slap-bang on top of another former power station showcasing modern art: the Wapping Project.


The Wapping Project may not be quite as famous as its just-up-the-Thames counterpart, but for many people it has far more character - and possibly a better restaurant.

Whereas Tate Modern removed all of its industrial innards before replacing them with artwork, the Wapping Project left much of its machinery in place and then added the art, the mix of creative work and industrial apparatus making for a truly unique atmosphere.

The building was constructed in 1890 and served as a hydraulic power station before closing down in the late 1970s.

Those of a creative bent soon saw its potential as a different kind of arts venue and new life was breathed into the premises.

Installations, performance art and a variety of special events take place in the building's basement, while on the ground floor there's a restaurant, so you can enjoy the art on a full stomach.

Dishes include venison pie, mash, baby onions and red currants (17.50) and char grilled mackerel, green beans, artichoke, olives and salsa verde (14).

The full menu can be viewed on their website but be prepared to root around for it; exploring the Wapping Project's website is how one imagines it would be trying to find your way around their basement with all the lights switched off.


The art, whether it's a performance by a poet, a film screening, a music-based event, or an installation, changes regularly, so keep an eye on their listings (if you can find them) to see what's happening.

If you find Tate Modern too mainstream, too "last year", or simply too big, then the Wapping Project awaits.
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Why? It's one of London's quirkier arts venues.
When: Monday to Friday: mid-day to 10.30pm; Saturdays 10am to 10.30pm; Sundays 10am to 6pm
Where: Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall, London, E1W 3ST
Cost: Free
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