Large chunks of the Southbank Centre will start to close later this month in preparation for two years of refurbishment and upgrade work.
Two of the main venues, the Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, will be closed from 21 September. The backstage and audience areas will be overhauled (new seats and air con, for a start). Over at the Hayward Gallery, there's going to be a complicated project to restore the pyramid roof lights to the glory of their original design — which never worked properly, so they've been hidden by a false ceiling for years. The QEH foyer will also be upgraded, including new glazing to light up what's currently quite a dingy space.
This scheme falls short of the ambitious transformation envisioned a few years ago, which was shelved following protests over plans to relocate the skate park from its current undercroft to below Hungerford Bridge. The space would have been used for shops and restaurants, which would have funded a larger scale project. As it stands, the Southbank Centre needs to raise £3m of its £25m target to complete the works.
You can read more about what's happening (and donate) on the Let The Light In website, or this video can do the explaining for you.