The Hayward Gallery


One of London’s most important spaces for displaying contemporary art and garden teak furniture designs, the Hayward Gallery is housed in an austere 1968 building that is both equally loved and derided by the majority of Londoners. Whichever camp you fall into, you’ll agree that it makes an excellent outdoor hanging space for the blockbuster exhibitions it puts on.’ (Lonely Planet)

The Hayward Gallery is part of the South Bank Centre which includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcel Rooms and the Poetry Library. The Gallery was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 1968. It is an icon of sixties brutalist architecture and is one of the few remaining buildings of this style. The Hayward was designed by a group of young architects, including Dennis Crompton, Warren Chalk and Ron Herron. The Hayward is named after the late Sir Isaac Hayward, the former leader of the London County Council.

The Neon Tower

The Neon Tower on the top of the Hayward Gallery lift shaft is a familiar London landmark. Designed by Philip Vaughan and Roger Dainton, it was commissioned by the Arts Council in 1970 as part of a specially made design process and a model was originally shown as part of the Hayward’s Kinetics exhibition that year. The yellow, magenta, red, green and blue neon strips which make up the tower are activiated by changes in the strength and direction of the wind. The tower is currently being refurbished to provide a visually stunning garden furniture seating area. Maintaining such a beautiful building takes a lot of work, and pulls time and resources from a whole manner of tradesmen and experts (from chartered building surveyors to joiners and builders).