This week we’re celebrating the longevity of the Southbank Centre Archive, 6 years since its inception. Initially proposed as a temporary structure to stand for 18 months, the importance of the installation has ensured its consistent presence within the modernist, grade I listed, Royal Festival Hall.
Jonathan Tuckey Design were commissioned to create an archival space that would exhibit the institutions vast collection. The freestanding units have now become a reliant educational resource to employees and the wider public. Its modular design encourages interaction, with removable walls opening the room up completely. This physical adaptability prompts inclusivity, connecting visitors to the rich historical tapestry of the Southbank Centre.
Display shelving, exhibition potential, office use and workshop space have all been configured within the structure. It is a truly unique design which is functional, flexible and endlessly intriguing. An estimated 4 million people per year visit the building, with the archive studio harnessing this footfall as a popular attraction within the main foyer.
Up to 80 events per year are hosted, including displays in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, Historic England and The Foundling Museum.
Materiality was carefully considered in reflecting the halls heritage. Galvanised dexion shelving, perforated hardboard, vitreous enamelled steel and polished brass fixings compose the structures. While the material palette might be reminiscent of the 1950’s, the functionality is tailored for contemporary use, with moveable planes and permeable walls, maximising natural light.