On 1 March 1967 the newly built Queen Elizabeth Hall was open by Her Majesty the Queen. The space was then used to host chamber orchestras, choirs and many other performances. In 2015 the building closed its doors ahead of a two and a half year renovation programme, opening again in April 2018. Winning National and Regional RIBA awards, with a host of other listings with FX awards, New London Architecture awards to name a few – it has re - opened to a fanfare of accolades.
Archer Humphryes Architects brief was ambitious set – out by Jude Kelly CBE “ to create a living room for all the citizens of the arts” with an interior architecture suitable for Foyer Hospitality, with an enhanced cultural programme for events, capacity for 1500 people ceremonies, including the new café/bar, an Interval bar and gallery display. With this in mind, the designers blended the building’s mega concrete structure with new contemporary elements. Design Curial remarks, “Rich indigo blue and red glazed tiles, bush-hammered concrete and satin brass are the dominant colours and materials employed.” Insertion of new windows to the riverside, a bold intervention which nonetheless appears seamless with the original building, repositions the café giving freedom to the ‘always striking public foyer.”
There is, finally, a sense not merely of high aesthetic value but of genuine public spirit. This grasp of the larger possibilities of the concert hall, needless to say, is crucial in place making and must remain a vibrant and welcoming civic landmark even as it takes on new commercial life and purpose. Pamela Buxton RIBA journal identifies: “With summer crowds strolling along the South Bank enjoying the centre’s cultural, it looks every bit the story of success and longevity.”
Role: Interior Architect - Foyer & Hospitality Design
Queen Elizabeth Hall