Southbank Centre refurb set for September

Feilden Clegg Bradley architect’s £24 million refurbishment plans for the centre’s Festival Wing have been approved and will begin this autumn.

Festival Wing Refurbishment Project - Artist impression of Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer with improved access and views to the terraces[1]

Feilden Clegg Bradley architect’s designs for a £24 million refurbishment project of London’s Southbank Centre have been approved by Lambeth Council and will begin in September.

The architect was appointed to complete the refurbishment of the Festival Wing’s brutalist buildings in autumn last year.

Refurbishment includes repair of the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room auditoria, alongside the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, exterior terraces and building services such as heating and stage lighting.

The design also includes a new artist entrance area, and a new Hayward Gallery Pyramid Roof.

The Southbank Centre aims to retain the skateboarders’ undercroft, which sits close to the buildings, after it made an agreement with skateboarder’s campaign group Long Live Southbank not to redevelop it last year.

The agreement was a result of prior plans for a £120 million redevelopment of the Southbank Centre, which would have seen the skateboarders uprooted and which was the subject of legal challenge.

The plans were then downsized for the £24 million project following the dispute settlement.

The project follows the recent refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall, also undertaken by the Southbank Centre.

The Southbank Centre has received almost £100,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a £16.7 million grant from Arts Council England to complete the project.

“We are pleased to be able to safeguard the future of this vital part of London’s artistic and tourist infrastructure through this capital grant,” says Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England. “It will enable the Southbank to carry out essential work to enhance its existing space, giving them the right buildings to deliver their fantastic artistic and cultural programme.”

Simon Hickman, inspector of historic buildings and areas at English Heritage, adds: “These uncompromising brutalist buildings reflect radical changes in British society and culture during the era of their design and creation. Their conservation could not be further delayed and we are delighted that Southbank Centre and Arts Council England are prepared to invest in them.”

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