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Royal Festival Hall

Official start of the South Bank

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The Royal Festival Hall at the South Bank Centre re-opened in June 2007 following a £91 million refurbishment. The surrounding area also underwent a £20 million redevelopment so things have really improved. The South Bank area has always been a great location as there are so many of London's iconic sights to see such as the House of Parliament, The London Eye, Tate Modern, and St. Paul's Cathedral. The Royal Festival Hall was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951 to celebrate homegrown design, industry, and technical innovation. Many iconic buildings were built but only the Royal Festival Hall remains. The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room were added in 1967 and The Hayward Gallery arrived in 1968. The Royal Festival Hall cost £1 million to build so it seems incredible to think £91 million would be needed to renovate the building but its concrete-based brutalist style of modernism is a symbol of how strong the country needed to feel after the Second World War.
Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London

Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London

Photo: © Laura Porter (2007), licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you continue along the South Bank, after you have walked past the Jubilee Bridges, which takes you to Charing Cross station and the Covent Garden area, you will come to the Royal Festival Hall. This was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951, and officially marks the start of the South Bank.

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