Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and The Hayward as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. The Royal Festival Hall reopened in 2007 following the major refurbishment of the Hall and redevelopment of the surrounding area and facilities.
Situated on the south bank of the River Thames next to the popular London Eye, Southbank Centre is at the heart of an arts quarter stretching from the Royal National Theatre and National Film Theatre to Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe.
The Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the Hall is one of the world’s leading performance venues. As well as the auditorium, the building consists of The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre Shop and several places to eat and drink.
The Queen Elizabeth Hall is the second largest concert hall on Southbank Centre site, hosting chamber orchestras, quartets, choirs, dance performances and opera. As well as the main concert hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall also contains two smaller venues, the Purcell Room and The Front Room at the QEH.
The Purcell Room, which is situated in the Queen Elizabeth Hall building, is the most intimate concert hall venue on site, making it especially suitable for chamber music, literature and spoken word events, mime and solo recitals.
The Hayward is an outstanding example of sixties brutalist architecture and is one of the few remaining buildings of this style. It was designed by a group of young architects, including Dennis Crompton, Warren Chalk and Ron Herron. The Hayward is named after the late Sir Isaac Hayward, the former leader of the London County Council.
Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines)
Embankment (Circle and District lines)
Stops are on Waterloo Bridge, in York Road, in Belvedere Road and in Stamford Street.
Boats from Festival Pier, London Eye Millenium Pier and Embankment Pier
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX (Map)
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