Architecture Tour, South Bank, London

The South Bank is a place which divides opinion – are its Brutalist buildings just ugly lumps of concrete or is there an elegance about the angular geometry? Are there hidden secrets inside?

Sunday afternoons are the time to take an architecture tour and find out more about the fascinating history of the site which was mainly built after the Festival of Britain was held in 1951.

Looking around the Royal Festival Hall (1951) and Queen Elizabeth Hall (1967) it soon became apparent that the interior design and materials are very specific to the functions of these concert halls since they must absorb and reflect sound. There are many features which could inspire a surface pattern concept such as the panelling and cantilevered boxes.

Externally, there is an honesty about the in-situ concrete construction of the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. The timber used to form the shape into which the concrete was poured has left its impression on the surface. I had never previously noticed this despite going past the buildings many times before. It just shows that simple observation is the key to seeing patterns everywhere!

Until next time my creative crew,