London’s South Bank is a favourite among filmmakers looking to add some Brit-glam to their movies, but the day-to-day reality is more prosaic. A big stretch of this area is dominated by concrete, brutalist structures which even their most ardent admirers must admit can lend it an aura of gloom. But The Shed, a new temporary auditorium for the National Theatre is changing that for a few months, adding a much-needed splash of colour to this corner of the capital. Architects Haworth Tompkins covered the structure in rough-sawn timber cladding with they then had painted a brilliant, vivid red creating a wonderful juxtaposition with the muted modernist surroundings.
And by employing two excellent photographers to document the new space, in the form of Philip Vile and Helene Binet (whose praises we sung a few weeks ago), it’s possible to get a real sense of just how big an impact it has had on the South Bank.