Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pavilion in the sky for the new-look Southbank

 Gosh, so this is how it's going to be.

A £100m refit for an arts centre is not something to sniff at in this day and age, and the plans for the Southbank Centre Festival Wing redevelopment - the part encompassing all the concrete - are visionary, at least on the outside. The grassy spaces are especially welcome, the glass-pavilion-in-the-sky space is a touch of gorgeous imagination, though hopefully will offer air-conditioning for hot greenhouse rehearsals, and I hope profoundly that we will no longer be able to hear the noise from the very right-on urban skateboard park inside the QEH during piano recitals.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the word "acoustics" does not seem to appear anywhere in the press release as far as the interior of the existing concert halls is concerned. Look... I love the Southbank and this will be a much-needed, massive improvement to it. But what London really needs is a world-class concert hall. With state-of-the-art acoustics. It doesn't have one. And this isn't going to provide one.The idea remains...well, pie in the sky.

Here's a full run-down from Classical Music Magazine on what will be done, and how, and when.