I must be a nerd.
I don’t know anything about architecture, but I know I have a strange love of the 50s and 60s buildings that make up the Southbank Centre.
The Festival Hall is a delicious throwback to an era which looked to a positive future even if life was really quite hard for the majority at the time it was built.
The add-ons next door – the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery – are breathtakingly ugly, they’re almost a work of art in themselves. How is it a collection of buildings can pose so many questions .. like ‘Who the hell complied that?’
Ugly yes, but there’s a warmth there. We don’t seek perfection in pursuit of formative experiences. Disconnected, unsympathetic spaces demand forgiveness. And when they get forgiveness they are elevated to a different (special) place. Aren’t they?
I’m getting carried away. Let’s reign in the emoting (for now). Because, today the Southbank Centre announced that on Thursday 7 March the first images of the proposed new ‘Festival Wing’, will be presented to the public in a part of the Royal Festival Hall which overlooks the actual Festival Wing site.
In a beautifully thought affair, everyone will be able to judge in situ whether or not those who have come up with good designs or not. Which is good for me, because I adore judging things.
For those who can’t get along, the plans for the ‘Festival Wing’ are also available online at the southbankcentre.co.uk/