Case Study

Southbank Centre

Project Brief

The Southbank Centre collaborated with Workplace Group to help revitalise their Queen Elizabeth Hall and their Purcell Rooms.

The building was originally opened in March 1967 by Her Majesty the Queen and this historic restoration has been made possible through generous support from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, and through Southbank Centre friends, trusts and foundations supporting the Let The Light In campaign. Queen Elizabeth Hall reopened in April 2018 following almost three years of renovations with world class, environmentally-improved new facilities for audiences and artists. The building is also home to Purcell Room – a smaller. More intimate space.

The design led by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios), focused on refurbishing the auditoria, foyer and artists’ back of house facilities. Improved access, ventilation and lighting systems, and new production infrastructure enhance the experience for audience and performers alike. New leather upholstery revitalises the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room’s distinctive and comfortable seating.

Workplace Group were tasked with the dismantling, removal and reupholstery of all seating and metal frame work in both the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell rooms. This was then followed by the reinstallation of the newly reupholstered leather seating and metal work.


Naturally with a job like this the initial steps are to remove the existing seats. This meant removing both arm pads for each chair, the backs and every seat cushion. This also meant removing all metal seat frames, which houses the seats.

The new chairs were upholstered using 1600m^2 of Swedish leather and stored in climate controlled storage units, to ensure that the leather maintains it superior quality.

The chairs then had to be re-installed.This meant starting with the metal seat housing frames. Once the frames were installed and cleaned, the leather seats, backs and arms were installed.Finally, an environmental clean up finishes the job.


Queen Elizabeth’s Hall

The results, as I’m sure you can agree, look absolutely amazing. The Queen Elizabeth’s hall has been revitalised whilst also preserving the building’s cultural heritage and distinctive brutalist design. The hall looks fresh and new but also maintains its traditional looks.

Purcell room

The Purcell Room has world-class acoustics, technical equipment, beautifully reupholstered seating and a new climate control system. Which, much like the Queen Elizabeth’s Hall, give this room a contemporary feel whilst not losing its cultural .

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