Buildings 1950-2000

Buildings 1950-2000

The Royal Festival Hall is part of the South Bank Centre arts complex in Southwark. It was the London County Council (L.C.C) contribution to the 1951 Festival of Britain. It was designed by Leslie Martin, Robert Matthew and Peter Moro from the L.C.C's Architects' Department. Martin called the structure an 'egg in a box'.

The Royal Festival Hall officially opened on 3 May 1951. It was the first major public building to be constructed in London after the Second World War. The only permanent Festival structure, the hall became a Grade I listed building in April 1988. It was the first post-war building to achieve this protected status.

Centre Point stands on New Oxford Street. Designed by Richard Seifert and completed in 1966, it was one of London's first skyscrapers at 117 metres (385 feet) high.

The building remained empty for many years. Its owner, property tycoon Harry Hyams, wanted to lease the entire building to a single tenant rather than rent single floors to many tenants. Partly because of this, Centre Point came to represent property industry greed. Conspiracy theories speculated that the government was secretly paying Hyams to keep the building vacant for its own covert purposes.

In 1974, homeless campaigners occupied the building to protest that it should be used to help London's housing crisis. The two-day action inspired the housing charity Centrepoint, which took its name from the building.

Centre Point was the headquarters of the Confederation of British Industry from 1980. In 1995, it became a Grade II listed building.

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