The Hayward Gallery, one of the largest, purpose-built galleries in Britain, forms part of the South Bank Centre.
Named after Sir Isaac Hayward, one-time leader of the LCC, the gallery was designed by the GLC Department of Architecture, led by Geoffrey Horsefall. Following its opening in October 1968, the gallery become one of London’s main venues for large art exhibitions.
The gallery has no permanent exhibition but hosts temporary shows of contemporary and historical art, often the work of British contemporary artists. Every five years the gallery selects and organises The British Art Show, a large-scale exhibition showing strength and vitality of British Art.
Admission charges to the temporary exhibitions high, justified by the class of the exhibits.
The buildings that developed around theRoyal Festival Hall in the latter half of the 20th century has been criticised, and the Hayward Gallery, with its grey concrete facade, is considered too stark. In 1999 the architect Rick Mather was appointed to re-plan the area, with plans to to demolish many of the buildings of the South Bank, including the Hayward Gallery, and replace them with a new film complex, hopefully to include a new Museum of Moving Image now that the popular original was closed.
This popular gallery often attracts large crowds and long queues may build up at the weekends.