Our brutalist building refurbishment has just six months to go

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 11:41

There are now just six months to go until Southbank Centre’s brutalist arts venues reopen. July marks the move into the final quarter of our two-year restoration project to bring the Hayward Gallery, along with our Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, back up to a world-class standard.

These works will mark a new chapter for these much-loved buildings, providing much-improved facilities, and experiences, for both artists and audiences. At the heart of the refurbishment is the replacement of the Hayward Gallery’s pyramid rooflights - hence the name of our fundraising campaign, Let The Light In. 

Hayward Gallery rooflights in the afternoon - July 2017
Looking up through the newly installed roof lights in Hayward Gallery

After years covered in dust, dirt and paint, these iconic pyramids have been replaced, allowing the natural light they were initially conceived for into Hayward Gallery for the first time.

Hayward Gallery 5- July 2017
Works taking place in the newly illuminated Hayward Gallery 5

With a much lighter gallery space, there is no longer anywhere to hide for some of the building’s original fittings and fixtures, which had begun to show signs of age. So, Hayward Gallery’s interior spaces have also been given some much needed TLC, as you can see below.

Terrazzo polishing and remedial works in Hayward Gallery 4.   - July 2017
Terrazzo polishing in the Hayward Gallery

In Queen Elizabeth Hall we’ve been working to give an enhanced experience for our audiences, as without you, there’d be no Southbank Centre. So we’ve been busy installing state-of the art production and technical equipment and enhancing the acoustics; the scaffolding from which is now coming down, as you can seen below.

Let The Light In update - July 2017
The scaffolding comes down in Queen Elizabeth Hall

Likewise, in Purcell Room, we’ve been striving to deliver a greater experience for all, with refurbished seats and similar technical and acoustical improvements to those in Queen Elizabeth Hall. Below you can see the freshly sanded floor, awaiting it’s revamped seats, and, wrapped in green plastic, the new lighting bridge.

Purcell Room - July 2017
Purcell Room with its newly sanded floor

The Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer is also getting something of a makeover, with new glazing to provide not only more light, but also enhanced views of the river. And here too, we’ve been adding in another form of pyramid to the roof, this time on the inside. You can see number 13 of 19 being put into place, below.

Pyramid 13 (of 19) in QEH - July 2017
All refurbishment images above courtesy of Richard Battye, FCB Studios

Though we’re now on the last leg of our developments there’s still much to do, and in order to complete this valuable refurbishment, we need your support. You can support our historic Let The Light In refurbishment project by donating, naming a seat or even buying exclusive jewellery inspired by our iconic 1960s buildings.

donate to Let The Light In

Name a Seat

buy exclusive jewellery