The British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank accommodates the UK’s largest independent cinema house and National Film Archive. It was originally built beneath the arches of Waterloo Bridge in the 1950s as the National Film Theatre. Its prominent location facing the River Thames benefits from the footfall of the South Bank, one of the busiest pedestrianised promenades in Europe.
The new entrance has a grand canopy which cantilevers east and west from beneath Waterloo Bridge. Maintaining the ‘caves’ of the cinemas beneath the bridge, the pavilion becomes a landmark visible from both banks of the river and offers a generous new entrance from all sides. The ground floor blurs the territories between the inside and the public space of the promenade. Working in close partnership with Carmody Groake Architects on the design and Area Square on the build we detailed and installed Raico elements for the curtain walling and Comar sliding doors.