Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre Masterplan Rick Mather Architects was unanimously chosen from over 70 international practice submissions to develop a masterplan for the largest arts complex in the world - London’s Southbank Centre. The site is approximately 12 hectares, bounded by the River Thames to the north-west, Waterloo Bridge to the north-east, Belvedere Road to the south-east, and the London Eye to the south-west. This ongoing project has perhaps seen the most radical transformation in the character of a public place in London. Public realm enhancements, the first phase of access to existing cultural buildings and the provision of shops and restaurants enabled more street level activity and increased the number of visitors to the area by around 62%. The masterplan provides a framework for upgrading and extending the use of existing cultural facilities alongside major improvements to the public experience of this 12 hectares strategic central London location. The site includes the Royal Festival Hall, The Hayward, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room, and the BFI Southbank. The masterplan has been developed from 1999 to date and has proved to be a flexible framework to accommodate the complexity of the site. Many of the proposals have been agreed or implemented and Phase one was completed in June 2007. Rick Mather Architects established a series of principles which formed the Southbank Centre Urban Design Strategy: 1. Improved accessibility, legibility and public open space. A characteristic of the late 1990s Southbank Centre site was major conflicts between pedestrian movement and vehicular servicing traffic, isolating the cultural institutions and creating general confusion for visitors. 2. Primary entrances to all destinations located at ground level. Some of the arts venues have their main access from indirect high-level routes with dark, dead space beneath. 3. Greater mix of use aimed at bringing a richer blend of visitors to the site over longer periods of the day. 4. All building frontages throughout the site activated with arts foyers, cafes and arts related retail. 5. Improved linkages between public open space, cultural facilities, public transport, highway networks, and other key destinations looking beyond the limits of Southbank Centre’s site. 6. Belvedere Road to be treated as an important cultural street. The Urban Design Strategy was unanimously accepted as the basis for development by Southbank Centre and BFI, all statutory authorities, local landowners and the community. Many elements of the Urban Design Strategy were subsequently incorporated into the London Borough of Lambeth UDP and South Bank Employers' Group Urban Design Strategy. The design principles were implemented to detailed design stage by Allies and Morrison Architects and Gross.Max Landscape Architects. Allies and Morrison has worked as House Architects for the Royal Festival Hall since 1992. In line with the masterplan they designed a new Office building alongside the Hungerford Bridge, retail spaces and terrace landscape and developed the strategy for the Royal Festival Hall to provide greater permeability on all sides. Gross.Max were appointed as Landscape Architects in 2003 to develop landscape designs for the new key open spaces around the Royal Festival Hall as defined in the masterplan. PHASE ONE OF THE MASTERPLAN The first phase, concentrating on the site defined by the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room, creates three new major public spaces:


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