The Hayward Gallery: a brutal beauty remade – review
Source:The Guardian Author:Rowan Moore Date: 2018-01-25 Size:
It is said that when a footballer returns from a long period ……

It is said that when a footballer returns from a long period of injury it’s like getting a new player. With Feilden Clegg Bradley’s renewal of the Hayward, it’s like getting a new art gallery. Its cleaned-up, robust exterior advances and recedes into the winter sun with new vigour. Its interiors breathe. You can enjoy again its sequences of contrasting volumes, its changes of level, its noble stairs, the glimpses outside, the odd but effective decision to install big, shiny brass handrails in what is mostly a rugged aesthetic.

Contemporary art galleries often over-rely on walls of plasterboard, a material coy about how solid it is, which makes spaces fade into indeterminate nothingness. At the Hayward, plaster is punctuated with concrete, now lovingly cleaned with techniques more often used on classical statues. The material gives a reference point, a sense of strength and personality. It also gives the inside an outdoors feel, a continuation of the Southbank Centre’s terraces and stairs into a space that happens to be roofed.

Originally, that roof was made of a series of pyramidal skylights, whose effectiveness had been reduced, since the building’s completion in 1968, by layers of sound-absorbing baffles and a translucent suspended ceiling. All that is now gone and the roof lights have been reconstructed as better versions of themselves, with a transforming effect on the upper galleries.

The new Hayward Gallery interior. Photograph: Morley von Sternberg

The only question is: what took them so long? For decades, the Southbank has worked through one plan after another to make itself over, in all of which the Hayward was assumed to be a terrible problem child. Bad for showing art, it was said, and with difficult back-of-house facilities. Ugly, too. Terry Farrell wanted to add postmodern doodads and Richard Rogers wanted to put a big glass roof over it. Well, now it has been discovered that it’s OK to like brutalism. It’s also been discovered that what the Hayward needed, all these years, was a bit of tender loving care, to bring out its good side. As for the art, the Gurskys there look splendid.

[Editor] 姜鑫

    Artintern