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  • Initial Design and Construction of the Royal Festival Hall

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  • The Royal Festival Hall, in London's South Bank, was initially designed to be part of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The commisioning architect was Hugh Casson, the Director of Architecture for the Festival of Britain, who appointed the design of the Royal Festival Hall to architects Leslie Martin, Peter Moro and Robert Matthew, all employees of the London County Council's Architects' Department. The hall's design is unashamedlyModernist, the Festival's commissioningarchitect(Hugh Casson) having taken the decision to appoint only young architects. Leslie Martin was just 39 when he was appointed to lead the design team in late 1948. Martin designed the structure as an 'egg in a box', a term he used to describe the separation of the curved auditorium space from the surrounding building and the noise and vibration of the adjacent railway viaduct. LaterSir Thomas Beechamused similar imagery, calling the building a 'giant chicken coop'The foundation stone was laid byClement Attlee, then Prime Minister, in 1949 on the site of the formerLion Brewery, built in 1837.

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