BAM in contract for major restoration of London’s Southbank Centre
Hemel Hempstead, 29 February 2016 - BAM is commencing a £28 million restoration of the Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room at London’s prestigious Southbank Centre. The suite of improvements forms part of the Southbank Centre’s ongoing programme of improving its public areas. More than six million people visit every year. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is the architect. Southbank Centre describes the works as ‘long overdue’, and the update will provide ‘world class facilities’.
BAM’s works on the Hayward Gallery’s glass pyramid roof will allow natural light into the gallery as was the original architectural intention. BAM will return the upper galleries to their original height and renovate the stone floors. The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room auditoria will be restored to their original character – renovating walls, floors, ceilings and retaining and restoring existing seats. New technical production facilities will be provided. The foyer for the Hall will be refurbished with a new ceiling and the riverside wall will be opened up through glazing.
Other features include more accessible dressing rooms, and new and upgraded building services such as plant, heating and cooling, ventilation, lighting, water supply, and specialist stage lighting. There will be new fire alarms, security, and IT cabling. Exterior terraces will be repaired to improve their drainage and accessibility. The energy and environmental performance of the buildings will be improved.
The facilities are closed for a two year period from September 2015 although the Centre continues to hold performances in its Royal Festival Hall, around its 21 acre site and at St John’s Smith Square.
Funding for the £28 million programme has been through two grants, one from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£4.4 million) which includes a grant to develop Southbank Centre’s archive and another through the Arts Council England (£16.7million). Southbank Centre has launched a campaign to raise the remaining funds through creative sponsorship opportunities, with £2.1million left to raise. (See: www.letthelightin.southbankcentre.co.uk)
Until recently BAM has been operating under a pre-construction services agreement. BAM built the original suite of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery buildings in the 1960s.
The prestigious client sits among a London portfolio which currently includes the new Warner Stand for Lord’s Cricket Ground, the new headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, Old Admiralty Building in Whitehall, and the Coal Drops Building at Kings Cross Central.
Mike Donegan, Construction Director of BAM Construction London, said: ‘When you look through the history of BAM in the UK, right from the 1860s when we started, we have worked on historic and significant buildings, and today, that’s truer than it’s ever been. The skill sets of our people are geared to creating complex and delicate structures, working sensitively, and within the very demanding economics and logistics of our capital city. I’m very proud that we’re chosen to make these fantastic changes that so many people across the world will eventually experience.’