Southbank Centre, with its origins in the 1951 Festival of Britain, is one of the great democratic and imaginative buildings of the last century and holds a unique place in the London arts scene. FCBStudios are appointed to rework and renew the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery so they can be better used as part of Southbank Centre’s annual programme of festivals.
This Repair and Renewal project is primarily a conservation scheme with the aim of replacing building services, improving environmental performance, upgrading infrastructure to continue to support an ever-widening artistic programme, and improving disabled access for audiences and artists. This foundation of renewal and upgrading of the existing buildings will give them a new lease of life and a low maintenance future.
It will also reinterpret the iconic Hayward Gallery pyramid roof with a replacement that will allow controlled natural light back into the galleries, described by Henry Moore in the context of the new galleries as “God’s daylight”. Achieving successful day-light was raised as “a matter of the utmost importance” by the Arts Council to the GLC in 1966 while the buildings were under construction and continues to be at the heart of the project.
This project represents the first phase of a longer and more ambitious scheme to support Southbank Centre’s vision to maximise the use of their existing buildings. The project has also been designed to enable future developments in line with Southbank Centre’s on going mission to provide more access to more arts for more people. The project is being undertaken with the support of Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Click here for Southbank Centre’s information on the project and their ‘Let The Light In’ campaign.