Bringing brutalist buildings back to life

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 11:44

The restoration of Southbank Centre’s brutalist arts venues continues apace. Come behind the hoardings to see how they’re changing.

We’ve been working hard to restore our 1960s arts venues Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room to their former glory and are now we’re on the final push. There are just six months of the project remaining, before we get set to reopen these spaces in early 2018, ready for the next 50 years of iconic performances and exhibitions.

The restoration of the buildings has allowed us to install 21st Century technology to bring the performances spaces up to a world-class standard, all whilst staying true to their original 1960s aesthetic. We’ve also given them some much-needed TLC, so that these well-loved venues remain bright, welcoming and inspiring spaces for everyone to enjoy, rain or shine.

Hayward Gallery - May 2017

The Hayward Gallery’s new pyramid rooflights have now been installed; allowing natural light to flow into the gallery spaces for the first time.

Hayward Gallery - May 2017

Enabling this flow of light in through the pyramids are a series of coffer linings, which can be seen above, installed in the Hayward Gallery upper galleries that help control the amount of light brought through from outside.

Hayward Gallery Rooflight - May 2017

Which, in turn means you can now look up from the gallery and see the sky through the new pyramid rooflights, as shown in the above image.

Hayward Gallery - May 2017

The result is a much brighter gallery space, in the Hayward Gallery upper galleries, as you can see above.

Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium - May 2017

Somewhere beneath this M.C. Escher-like maze of scaffold and stairs is the Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer - May 2017 v2

Out in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer work continues to open up the space and allow more light in.

Queen Elizabeth Hall roof light - May 2017

And pyramid rooflights are also being reinstated in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, true to the brutalist aesthetic of the building.

Images, copyright Richard Battye, FCB Studios

Be part of our historic refurbishment project

With your support, improvements to Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room will include a refurbished auditoria with enhanced acoustics and refurbished seats, state-of-the-art production and technical equipment. As well as an upgraded foyer with new glazing to create a light and welcoming space with views over the river, and a new cafe and bar to welcome visitors.

At Hayward Gallery the focus of the refurbishment is to restore the 66 glass pyramid rooflights in order to let controlled natural lighting into the upper galleries for the first time. We are also replacing the stone floors of the gallery, repaving the sculpture terraces and installing new climate control and other essential building services to ensure Hayward Gallery can continue to present its programme of world-class exhibitions.

You can show your support in many ways, by donating, naming a seat or even buying exclusive jewellery inspired by Queen Elizabeth Hall’s iconic architecture.

Donate to Let The Light In
Name a seat
Buy exclusive jewellery