It is housed in the former Bankside Power Station, which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect responsible for Battersea Power Station, and built in two stages between 1947 and 1963. The power station closed in 1981. The building was converted by architects Herzog & de Meuron. Since its opening on May 12, 2000 it has become a very popular destination for Londoners and tourists.
The gallery can be accessed by crossing the London Millennium Bridge which links it with St Paul's Cathedral. The closest tube station is Southwark.