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Royal Festival Hall

The Royal Festival Hall in a venue in Lambeth, London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge. It seats 3,000 people, and is a Grade I listed building - the first post-war building to become so protected (in April 1988).

The foundation stone was laid by Clement Atlee, then Prime Minister, in 1949 on the site of a former brewery. It was the contribution toward the Festival of Britain by London County Council, and was officially opened on 3 May 1951.

The Hall's design is unashamedly Modernist, the Festival's commissioning architect (Hugh Casson) having taken the decision to only appoint young architects. It was designed by Leslie Martin, Peter Moro and Robert Matthews from the LCC's Architects' Department; 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.

When the Greater London Council (LCC's successor) was abolished in 1986, the Hall was taken over by the Arts Council.

The closest tube station is Waterloo.

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