WALKING THE WATERFRONT To describe the everyday life of Southbank we will take a walk from east to west, which is roughly the order in which the riverbank was developed. We begin on Princes Bridge, adjacent to the Concert Hall, the building that provides the best evidence of the utter disdain with which the river was treated just 20 years ago. On the waterfront side of the hall are a loading bay and stage door facing on to a large, dark undercroft hard up against the river's edge. The task for the designers of the adjoining SouthGate project was to generate a pedestrian link between the busy arts precinct on St Kilda Road, with its four major theatres and art gallery, and the vitality of the new riverbank below. As outlined in the previous chapter, the primary connection was created with commercial imperatives in mind - to direct pedestrian traffic through the shopping mall. However, despite the attempted manipulation, the undercroft remains the most direct route between the arts precinct and the riverbank promenade.