Southbank Centre unveils Festival Wing exhibition

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?’

Not very high on the top ten list of 'Choice Views from the Office Window'.
Not very high on the top ten list of ‘Choice Views from the Office Window’.

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 Wing website.



One thought to “Southbank Centre unveils Festival Wing exhibition”

  1. Personally I love the QEH and Hayward – I’d be very sad if they were to be ‘softened’ in their appearance. That said, performance spaces and backstage areas need a vast upgrade. Together with seats that don’t fart when you sit on them…

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