IMAX designer reacts to plans to ‘carve and remodel’ London landmark
The designer of London’s IMAX cinema, Bryan Avery, has voiced concerns over changes that could be made to the landmark building as a result of the Waterloo City Square project, won in competition by London-based practice DSDHA.
Avery, whose cylindrical IMAX was completed in 1999, has reacted with alarm to a design statement published on the project website, which states that DSDHA intends to ‘carve, remodel and overclad’ the building (see picture, below left).
Avery said: ‘Why, when Lambeth Council only just got this building up, can you consider taking it down or altering it so soon? The money could go elsewhere on the South Bank.
‘This competition was ostensibly for public improvement of the area, which, on the face of it, is a good idea, but it seems to be much more than that.’
Avery added that the firm which came second in the competition advocated the demolition of the IMAX in the second phase of its plans.
A spokesperson for South Bank Employers Group (SBEG), which is behind the plans, denied that the winning design will mark the end of the IMAX: ‘At the moment, the main improvement is to access. The plans do have implications [for the IMAX], but I don’t have the specifics. This is still at a concept stage.’
When launching the competition last year, SBEG said the area around Waterloo Road was ‘an eyesore’ with a ‘complex labyrinth of spaces’ (AJ online 28.08.08).
DSDHA declined to comment.