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London Southbank reveals £120m regen

London’s Southbank Centre has unveiled its proposed £120 million Festival Wing redevelopment.

Featuring a glazed ‘liner’ building and a semi-transparent, box-like sky pavilion, the 28,000m² overhaul and extension will double the size of the Thameside, Brutalist concrete complex, reports CN’s sister title the Architects’ Journal.

Housing a raised rehearsal space, educational facilities, restaurants and shops, the new additions will sit on top of the 1967 London County Council-designed landmark, which has been threatened with demolition in recent years.

Outdoor terraces and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery venues will be refurbished, while new arts facilities and retail will occupy an undercroft beneath the complex, requiring a world famous skate park to be moved to nearby Hungerford Bridge. About 20 per cent of floor space will be commercial.

A new foyer will connect the venues to the National Theatre and British Film Institute and, via a grand staircase the Royal Festival Hall, while services will be relocated to the site’s periphery.

A public consultation launches today and a planning application is expected in late spring. The Southbank Centre hopes to start construction in 2014 and open the facility which will be renamed ‘Festival Wing’ two years later.  

The overhaul is designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Southbank regenerated

The Southbank Concert Halls opened in 1968 as part of a London County Council-backed masterplan for the post-industrial area’s transformation. Rick Mather has been devising a masterplan for redevelopment of the complex since 1999.

Queen Elizabeth Hall
The auditorium will be refurbished with the width of the stage expanded to create wing space with less impact on sightlines. Artistic and technical facilities will be upgraded along with back of house and disability access. New access will be provided to central foyer.

Purcell Room
Auditorium and back-of-house will be refurbished to improve stage access. Technical facilities and disability access are to be upgraded and a new entrance will create access from the central foyer.

Hayward Gallery
Galleries to be refurbished with improved access through spaces to enable free exhibitions. The iconic pyramid roof will be replicated to improve lighting and be made watertight. Access to the central foyer and a new secure loading bay will be created.

New Central Foyer
A glazed atrium between the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery is planned as an ‘artistic and social hub’ linking the complex to the British Film Institute and National Theatre.

Glass Pavilion
A floating venue designed to hold a 150-strong orchestra and a choir of up to 250 people with a small audience. It will also host corporate events

The ‘liner’ building
Between the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Waterloo Bridge, the glazed ‘liner’ building will provide space for educational, artistic and commercial cultural uses. Designed as a large flexible space, the flexible space will host a broader, year-round education programme for all age groups and abilities. The Saison Poetry Library will move from Level 5 in the Royal Festival Hall to join a literature and spoken word space in a new literature centre, and two new restaurants will overlook the river.

Undercrofts will be reclaimed for artistic and cultural uses, including a new venue for concerts, dance, cabaret, music and spoken word events and a space for young people.

Green spaces
New public spaces include a square and two new roof gardens.

Urban arts
New riverside area for skateboarders, BMX and graffiti located under Hungerford Bridge and visible to the public from Queen’s Walk.

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