Queen Elizabeth Hall Building Renewal, London

Queen Elizabeth Hall Building Opening, South Bank Centre Refurbishment, QEH London News, Photo

Queen Elizabeth Hall Building Renewal

QEH Arts Development in centre of the capital: London Built Environment, England, UK

Following almost three years of renovations, Queen Elizabeth Hall reopens today, Monday 9 April 2018.

The cultural landmark opens with world class, environmentally-improved new facilities for audiences and artists that highlight the unique heritage features of the buildings.

Architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS)

6 Apr 2018

Queen Elizabeth Hall Building Renewal

Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall reopens for the first time in history

• Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room will reopen on April 9th

• The buildings have been closed for refurbishment since October 2015

• This two year refurbishment is the first the building has received since it opened in 1967

On Monday April 9th Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, along with Purcell Room, will open its doors to the public for the first time since closing for refurbishment at the end of 2015.

Working alongside architects Feilden Clegg Bradley, Max Fordham have helped to complete the first major building services renovation to the site since its opening in 1967. It is the first time that the famous concert hall has been closed for an extended period, a bold statement for a building which opens its doors to the public 364 days a year, and an indication of its need to be updated.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Building interior:
Queen Elizabeth Hall Building interior
photo : Morley Von Sternberg

Max Fordham have implemented a number of major changes to the building. They have replaced the auditorium air conditioning systems. Reinstating cooling of the Queen Elizabeth Hall for the first time in over 30 years, the air flow has been reversed. Originally supplied from the ceiling of the auditorium, the conditioned air is now supplied from below the seats, creating a comfortable environment for the audience. Conditioned air is supplied only where it is needed, minimising energy use.

Removing the old ductwork from the ceiling voids has created space for the retractable lighting rig, an updated and high spec piece of equipment which now sits neatly in the roof, descended for specific events and hidden from view for others.

Stuart Humber, who led the team from Max Fordham, said ‘Heating and ventilation systems tend to stay the same size over time. In contrast audio and visual systems expand as the tech develops and modernises. The new theatre equipment that a venue like this demands is far bigger than it would have been in the 60s, when the concert hall was intended to host piano recitals and ensemble orchestras. Much of our work at Queen Elizabeth Hall has been about making better use of the existing space to create room for the best equipment’.

The refurbishment work took over two years to complete. Initial evaluations of the site took place while the building was still in use, but Stuart Humber said ‘historical buildings pose challenges that are not always obvious in the first instance. Simultaneously preserving and updating a building such as Queen Elizabeth Hall is a complex process. When you start unpicking things to look beneath the skin of a building, new complications arise. We relish the opportunity to take on these challenges and are proud to work on projects like these’.

Max Fordham have worked on many projects with the Southbank Centre, beginning with their work on the Royal Festival Hall, which completed in 2007.

As well as M&E Engineering and Sustainability Consultancy, Max Fordham are providing Soft Landings Consultancy, which will see them monitor the impact and usage of the work they have done on the building. Particularly with buildings so complicated and bespoke, the Soft Landings process is crucial to ensure the users of the building get the most out of the new systems.

The building will open on Monday with a concert from Chineke Orchestra, followed by a year-round season of dance, music and theatre.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

reopening of Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room

About Max Fordham

Max Fordham started his own practice in the spare bedroom of his Camden home. It was 1966. He was 33. In the 40-odd years since, the practice has grown to more than 180 people in five offices around the United Kingdom.

The Cambridge office opened in 2000 and a job won at Telford College in Scotland led to a presence in Edinburgh, where the office celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013. Continued growth of the Practice resulted in the establishment of offices in Manchester and Bristol in the same year.

In 2010, the Practice celebrated with Zaha Hadid Architects when the Museum of XXI Century Art (MAXXI) won the Stirling Prize. The award is one of many secured over the years, including the Doolan Prize, the most lucrative award in British Architecture, for the National Museum of Scotland with Gareth Hoskins Architects. Max Fordham also won the Best New Project at the CIBSE Building Performance Awards in 2012 (Brockholes Visitor Centre) and 2013 (The Hive, Worcester).

11 Apr 2013

Queen Elizabeth Hall Building

A Room for London – Queen Elizabeth Hall

A Room for London design
picture courtesy of David Kohn Architects and Fiona Banner

David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner have been selected to design A Room for London, a temporary installation that will sit on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre, London and be part of the London 2012 Festival.

A Room for London
picture courtesy of David Kohn Architects and Fiona Banner

The design competition for A Room for London, which attracted entries from around 500 architects and artists from across the world, was instigated by Living Architecture, and Artangel, in association with Southbank Centre. The brief was to create a room on one of the most visible sites in the British capital, where up to two people at a time could spend a unique night in an exemplary architectural landmark.

A Room for London A Room for London A Room for London
photos : Charles Hosea

Queen Elizabeth Hall aerials:
Queen Elizabeth Hall Queen Elizabeth Hall


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