To coincide with the reopening of the Royal Festival Hall and Architecture Week in June 2007, the V&A and RIBA present a display revealing how this world class concert venue, originally built in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, has been redesigned to meet the demands of the next 50 years.
Since its closure in June 2005, the interior and exterior of the Royal Festival Hall building has been extensively remodelled by architects Allies and Morrison to create a vibrant public space that is respectful of the building’s original 1950s architectural style. Held in the V&A + RIBA Architecture Exhibition Gallery at the V&A, the display will show how the ideas and concepts behind the original design have provided a rich source of inspiration for the new developments.
The display will include architectural drawings and models by Allies and Morrison, newly commissioned photographs by Dennis Gilbert, sketches and architectural samples from the building. The display will also include two pieces of work by musicians and filmmakers Saint Etienne: an animation illustrating the fascinating acoustic developments within the auditorium and a film that documents the process of refurbishment. There will also be archival drawings and photographs of the 1951 building, including some of the original Robin Day chairs.
Di Haigh, curator of the display and Director of Allies and Morrison, said:
“As architects, we are passionate admirers of the original 1951 building and wish to celebrate the re-opening. We have made the Royal Festival Hall into a music venue for the future, with fine acoustics in the auditorium and open and accessible foyer spaces, set within the context of its initial design concept and inclusive agenda”.