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Designed by a team from the London County Council architects department, the Southbank Centre is a stunning view of the future as envisaged at the time. Instead of providing a monumental, pompous, singular building, the centre attempts to emphasise all of the parts that make it up. Each individual system is visible – the rooflights above the galleries, the cantilever of the concert halls, the pedestrian routes that three-dimensionally envelop the site, the mechanical services that thread around and plug into the main spaces. All of these make up a thrilling and dense ensemble, something like a cybernetic diagram, which designer Warren Chalk hoped would convey "the message of the city as an entire building".

© Serena Rhiannon Graham, all rights reserved