The masterplanner of the South Bank Centre says a proposal to site buildings under a 5.3 ha sloping park offers a good way forward, although other options are still on the table.

Speaking for the first time on the new proposal, architect Rick Mather described it as excellent. The option was added in September to four other options in the masterplan brief published in May.

The fifth option would locate a concert hall, a national film centre and shops on the site of the Hungerford car park, facing Belvedere Road. A 5.3 ha park, sloping up from the riverbank over the buildings to a height of three storeys would be created by extending the Jubilee Gardens to the new Hungerford Bridge. New buildings may protrude through the park.

Mather said: "The National Film and Television School and the Museum of the Moving Image and the British Film Institute all need space that does not need light, or cannot take light. Above them you could have this fabulous, bigger park that would be the right scale for the London Eye."

Mather has ruled out option one in the masterplan brief, which implied no development on the Hungerford car park site. This involved refurbishing the 1960s arts buildings and locating a national film centre close to them on the Waterloo site.

However, he says options two, three and four are still under consideration. They are:

  • Option two: locate a national film centre on the Hungerford site
  • Option three: demolish the 1960s arts buildings and replace them on the Hungerford site, and split a national film centre between the Waterloo and Hungerford sites
  • Option four: demolish the 1960s buildings and replace them on the Hungerford site. Build a national film centre on the Waterloo site.
The Arts Council this week awarded £900 000 to the development of the South Bank masterplan.

Quantity surveyor EC Harris has been commissioned to produce a cost study on the refurbishment of the 1960s arts buildings. Rick Mather Architects will publish its verdict on the masterplan options in January, and another public consultation will follow.