The beautiful exterior of the IWM (Imperial War Museum), with its imposing 15-inch British Naval Guns, makes for a stark and beautifully composed photograph.
The lush green pastures of Jubilee Gardens, was formerly the site of the “Dome of Discovery” and the adjacent “Skylon” during the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Festival was a national exhibition held throughout the UK, organised by the government to give the British a feeling of recovery in the aftermath of war, and the Dome of Discovery was a temporary exhibition. The dome was controversially demolished and its materials sold as scrap, which rather peculiarly was then turned into a series of commemorative paper-knives!
The National Theatre
The need for a national theatre was first proposed in 1848, but it took over 100 years for the project to finally be brought to life. The foundation stone was laid in 1949, but in 1959 the government stated that the nation couldn’t afford a national theatre, and so it wasn’t until fairly recently – 1963, that the National Theatre Company was eventually formed. Even then, the company was based at the Old Vic and didn’t actually open in South Bank until 1976, with its first production of Hamlet at the Lyttelton Theatre.
Mondrian London at Sea Containers
The sleek and sophisticated Mondrian Hotel at Sea Containers was designed by architect Warren Platner in the 1970's. Although it was originally designed as a hotel, it was instead used as an office for many years. One of the occupants was a shipping company called "Sea Container", from which the Hotel now famously draws its name.
House of Vans London
House of Vans is located in what used to be known as the Old Vic Tunnels. The space covers just under 30,000 square feet of unused railway tunnels. The Old Vic, which was under Kevin Spacey’s directorship at the time, originally acquired the space back in 2010, using it as an underground arts venue and performance space. Numerous high profile events, including the UK premiere of Banksy's documentary Exit through the Gift Shop was hosted here.
The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is over 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). When erected in 1999, it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel, described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel". It remains Europe's tallest Ferris wheel and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, with over 3.75 million visitors annually!
It’s crazy to imagine that Gabriel's Wharf used to be the site of old garages – now, the Wharf is a popular place for families and visitors to relax and enjoy great views across the Thames and onto London. The opening of Gabriel’s Wharf in 1988 brought commercial and public life to an area that had long been derelict and signalled the ‘rebirth’ of the South Bank. The area has been completely redeveloped and is now is a buzzing spot with a range of boutiques run by small businesses who design and manufacture their own products, artist’s galleries and eateries.
Leake Street, also known as the "Banksy Tunnel" or "Graffiti Tunnel", is a graffiti artist or graffiti admirer’s paradise, located right next to House of Vans. The tunnel is about 300 metres long, running just off York Road, all the way under the platforms and tracks of Waterloo station.
The Southbank Centre
The Southbank Centre is a complex of artistic venues including the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery and is Europe’s largest centre for the arts, attracting more than three million visitors annually. Nearly a thousand paid performances of music, dance and literature are staged at Southbank Centre each year, as well as over 300 free events and an education programme.
OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie
The fabulous, art deco OXO Tower is one of the most prominent buildings in London’s South Bank. The tower has mixed use, with a set of design, arts and crafts shops on the ground and first floors as well as two galleries, Bargehouse and gallery@oxo. The OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie is on the eighth floor, offering fantastic views over London.