Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Royal Festival Hall

The Royal Festival Hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951 by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts. The building underwent a much needed renovation between 2005 and 2007 aimed at improving the famously poor acoustics, as well as reorganising the entrance spaces & café and the layout of the foyers.

The Festival Hall is one of my favourite spots in London. I especially love going there during the day when it's quiet, before any performances begin. It's always full of all sorts of people using the spaces. From pensioners reading the newspaper, to groups having informal meetings, to laptop users at tables looking out of the immense windows towards the Thames. It's a very easy space to be in. If I lived close by I think I'd come with my laptop, park myself on a Arne Jacobson chair on the 3rd or 4th floor and immerse myself in this modernist calm. I'm sure it'd be a productive place to work!

Oh and I'm dying for a special occassion (do I need one?) to try the Skylon restaurant. Just to sit and soak up all that modernist goodness. I wouldn't really mind too much if the food wasn't up to scratch; although I've heard it's pretty good even if this reviewer thought it was 'patchy'.


  1. The building surely conveys great atmosphere. And so do your photos. Thanks for sharing.

  2. oh Mary, you're right, one of the best places. I love the fact that you can get a drink at one of the bars and just wander anywhere, and sit anywhere you like.
    makes me miss London, again!
    thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  3. I am going to write down all your tips about London in a notebook. I always discover great places that I am unaware of thanks to you.
    Splendid !!!

  4. you caught it at a great time of day. have you seen the film 'in the loop'? it made me smile to see the festival hall was used as the set for the interior of the un.

  5. Ah, again, wonderful photos! It's great how some large spaces have such an air of calmness. I love that olive-y shade in the first photos and the dark grey-blue of the wall in the last photo.

  6. Thank you for your comment! The answer is... Bouroullec! -_^