The UK’s largest arts centre, occupying an 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames, has announced the shortlist of architects competing to head the refurbishment and renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex. According to a statement released by the Southbank Centre, the project plans to bring the performance spaces and galleries in the complex up to the standard of the recently transformed Royal Festival Hall and will address current urgent problems including poor access to and the upgrading of the stages and galleries; sub-standard back stage areas; and worn out services.
The eight shortlisted practices are:
- Allies and Morrison
- Bennetts Associates Architects
- Eric Parry Architects
- Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios
- Grimshaw Architects LLP
- Heneghan Peng Architects
- Van Heyningen and Haward
Before finalizing the refurbishment plans Southbank Centre will explore a more ambitious project, which would reclaim unused and underused space to transform the whole of this complex and deliver more flexible cultural and social use in line with the successful and popular festival program across art forms. To inform how Southbank Centre might do this a conservation management plan is being drafted in consultation with Lambeth Council, English Heritage and the Twentieth Century Society to better understand both the significant elements of the architecture and how the full potential of the site can be realized as envisaged by the original architects.
The lead architect will be appointed in the autumn. Southbank Centre will be required to complete a second application to Arts Council England showing plans at a detailed stage of design and development by September 2013.
This is the next stage of the Rick Mather master plan for the site and builds on the transformation of the Royal Festival Hall, with the creation of a new public square (Southbank Centre Square), lively restaurants and shops across the site and new landscaping (with an external lift) to provide a more accessible, exciting, welcoming site that is regularly artistically animated, as well as the recent transformation of Jubilee Gardens.
via Southbank Centre