I just came-across this information on the refurbishment of part of The Southbank Centre in Central London. What caught my eye initially was the identity...hello, here's a new logo that's using a slab-serif  'Egyptian' font, much used in post-war Britain (albeit not italicised), and whilst I personally think the typography is somewhat misaligned, the overall identity is quite pleasing. You can read more here, in particular the nod to the Festival of Britain.


Impressively The Southbank Centre is Europe's largest centre for the arts - I did not know that. It was constructed piecemeal over a period of 17 years, from the opening of the the Royal Festival Hall in 1951 through to the opening of the the Hayward Gallery in 1968. The parts that will be refurbished are The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, and having been to the Hayward Gallery recently I can vouch for the need for something to be done - it suffers the depressing fate of may Brutalist buildings of lack of maintenance and care.


As for the refurbishment, I have concerns that it will try to soften the Brutalist nature of the buildings. I know Brutalism is pretty widely disliked, but it was at least a brave attempt to create something new and forward-looking, rather than the awful post-modernism of the 1980's onwards. The Barbican similarly suffers from some pretty awful 'modernisation' carried out about 15 years ago. I hope that the refurbishment preserves the character of the original buildings - well maintained Brutalist architecture can be awe-inspiring.

Anyway, you can read more about the refurb here:

The Festival Wing


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