Carnegie Mellon University | School of Architecture

Instructor Hal H. Hayes | Spring 2020


Project Site : Southbank Centre

London, United Kingdom

What does the Lion and the Unicorn mean in the Southbank Centre? The project focuses on the new music hall with flexible performance chamber as the central point of the site that acts as the humanizing factor within the world of brutalism on Southbank Centre. The narrative of the project is The Lion and the Unicorn, which comes from a pavilion called the Lion and the Unicorn that represent characteristics and qualities of the British people: the lion symbolized solidarity, strength and realism, while the unicorn symbolized the imaginary and magical, as well as partly aggressive and eccentric qualities during the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Royal Coat of Arms is used to translate this historical significance and representation of UK, which includes these two figures along with the Royal Shield and brings out the tripartite system within it, as well as its symmetry. The project takes advantage of its location and its adjacency to existing venues by creating connections to Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. Along with its connections to all three venues on site, the project serves as a connected anchor between the Queen’s Walk (waterfront walkway) and Belvedere Road (service road), which encourages the audience to engage in and explore numerous spaces and performances holistically. Front of House, House and Back of House focus on how the audience and materials of performance flow throughout the building and it allows for the audience to enter the centre in both front and back of the building with means of convenience to arrive at the site using public transportation. As important as the audience are, the project also serves the performers, crew members and administrators that run the life of the Southbank Centre by providing goods and services as well as space for them to relax and enjoy their work. The project also cares for how the buildings interact with and relate to one another through the continuation of structural design and hierarchy of spaces.

Narrative & Concept

project site diagram-min.jpg

Sectional Perspectives

Final Long Sectional Perspective.jpg
Final Short Sectional Perspective.jpg

Performance Chamber Configurations

House Configuration Plan and Diagram.jpg

Plans (Level 0 - Roof)




Level 0 arcade

Level 1 Lobby

Walkway View.jpg

Front view


Back view

Night view across Thames

Structural Hierarchy

Structure hierarchy diagram.jpg

Programmatic and Flow

Axon diagram_compressed.jpg