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Looking eastwards along The Strand | © Garry Knight / Flickr
Looking eastwards along The Strand | © Garry Knight / Flickr

A Brief History of 180 The Strand

Picture of Georgina Wilson-Powell
Updated: 24 February 2017

Used as a backdrop for the most creative catwalks, secret shows, pop-ups and immersive theatre, it hasn’t taken long for 180 The Strand to cement its stake at the heart of London’s cutting-edge events. It’s a creative space, blank canvas and spiritual home for all things expressive.

Soon 180 The Strand is set to be home to Dazed magazine and the British Fashion Council, two top tenants in this long, bunker-like building that’s riddled with event spaces and studios. It’s also being used as a temporary home by the Hayward Gallery while it’s real site on the Southbank undergoes a two-year renovation.

A view of an empty hall at 180 The Strand

A view of an empty hall at 180 The Strand | © Mark Longair / Flickr

The building itself dates back to 1971 and is a landmark example of Brutalist architecture – the design trend that also brought us the Barbican – and stretches out along the Strand overlooking the Thames River. It was designed by Frederick Gibberd, a British architect who also designed the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. While it was once the home of a big accountancy firm, it’s only in the last couple of years that fashion, arts and music brands have realised what a gem of a space they have on their hands in the middle of London. Jack White has played intimate gigs here, while Louis Vuitton turned it into a high-tech catwalk.

‘It’s not got a name, it’s kind of in-between-ist. It’s a liminal space’, Jefferson Hack told Business of Fashion recently. Whatever it is, you can bet the best days for 180 The Strand are ahead.