The Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell
Room are monuments to 1960s radicalism - a continuing
experiment in providing a Place for the Arts at the heart
of London’s Southbank.
The sober luxury of the QEH interior soon became a place for
music far beyond the classical canon, bringing respectability to
rock and providing a new home for the avant-garde. The Hayward
has always been at the forefront of radical experimentation in
the visual arts with art extending out onto its terraces and roof
spaces. The concrete topography of the buildings has provided an
urban playground for the arts and culture of the city. Arguably,
more than any other buildings in the country, Southbank Centre
embodies a legacy of 1960s zeitgeist.
This book is a tribute to the buildings. Their contextual history is
described by historian Elain Harwood, their cultural stories told by
the current curators, and their secret idiosyncrasies are brought to
life by the photography of project architect Richard Battye.