The South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG) has hit back at claims by Bryan Avery, the designer of the IMAX cinema in London’s Waterloo, that its plans to revamp the cinema would ruin his original design
Avery reacted angrily after seeing concept images for the cinema on the project website and claimed that a designed competition winning scheme by DSDHA would see the 10-year-old cylindrical building ‘carved, remodelled and overclad’.
SBEG organised a design competition to revamp public spaces around the cinema which is owned by the British Film Institute and the land beneath it by Lambeth Council.
Ted Inman, chief executive of the South Bank Employers’ Group told the AJ: ‘The Waterloo City Square project should not in any way be seen as a threat to the IMAX Cinema. The competition was to select a design team not to choose a design. The concepts submitted were part of the process but the decision of the judging panel to select DSDHA was not based on the firm’s ideas about remodelling the IMAX Cinema.
‘The priorities for this project are to improve pedestrian and cycling routes and the public transport interchange in this very busy and important area. Key to this is removing subterranean routes and providing street-level access. This could well involve the introduction of a new IMAX entrance at street level, which was thought by competition entrants to be possible without major remodelling.
‘All are realistic that this is not the time to propose grand and expensive schemes - the hope is for a menu of incremental and affordable improvements, some of which should be delivered before 2012.’