Floating Glass Structure Is Highlight Of £100m Southbank Centre Improvements

A brand new £100 million redevelopment of London’s Southbank Centre has been announced, The Guardian reports. The most significant feature of the re-design, carried out by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, will be a glass pavilion, which will appear to “float” above the existing structure – described by The Guardian as “grey” and “neglected.”

A number of improvements are being made to the city art space, which will force the closure of the Hayward Gallery, the Purcell Room and the Queen Elizabeth Hall for up to three years. Work is scheduled to start in 2014 and the centre’s chief executive said the redevelopment is on a par with the £111million restructuring of the Royal Festival Hall that took place back in 2005 – 2007. “We have been moving to this day for a long time. We are so excited," said Alan Bishop, the chief exec. "It is going to be a transformative project, far more than just refurbishment, though I can tell you refurbishment is sorely needed.”

The glass pavilion will be the focal point of the new look centre, though according to the report, plans are still underway to work on the acoustics, as well as ensuring that it does not simply turn into a greenhouse in London’s hotter months. There will, however, be space for a full orchestra of up to 150, or a 250-strong choir. A plan has been made for more restaurants, greenery, better backstage provisions and “an end to bewildered visitors going up and down stairs trying to work out how to get into the Hayward gallery.”


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