Text description provided by the architects. The Archive Studio by Jonathan Tuckey Design is located inside London's Grade I listed Royal Festival Hall that opened for the Festival of Britain in 1951. As of this Autumn, The Archive Studio allows Southbank Centre to explore, catalogue and arrange their collection and bring elements of this unique archive to life. The idea of making visible the processes of a working archive has been a key element in achieving this. The Archive Studio does this, for example, by allowing visitors to see archivists and volunteers at work. The general public also has the opportunity to engage directly with the archive material and play a part in its presentation and preservation.
The Archive Studio is a free-standing, self-supporting structure held together with polished brass nuts and bolts and clad in perforated hardboard. This creates a light framework that nonetheless has the ability to host events and exhibitions as a dedicated space with its own identity. Jonathan Tuckey is interested in how this type of approach can be used at other cultural institutions around the country. He says, "We are using what are in effect very standardised elements in an imaginative way to create a room that we hope feels special and memorable."; "We also like the fact that the Southbank Archive Studio design offered a solution that was built in only three weeks making it an attractive option for archivists, librarians and curators looking to work with their collections with greater ease or, if need be, in a more responsive way."
The Archive Studio project is part of Southbank Centre's long-term programme of restoration and improvement that includes the renovation of the Hayward Gallery and the Queen Elizabeth Hall.