Royal Opera House
Rob Moore Download Original
Expansion and renovation of the Royal Opera House, which occupies an entire urban block in London's Covent Garden
Enclosing and repairing London’s first square, the scheme reconnects the Royal Opera House to Covent Garden piazza, creating a new ‘mid-block’ connection between Bow Street and the corner of the new arcade, which provides an almost continuous shopping frontage.
At the urban scale, the architects created a collage of buildings using various styles – a historic neo-classical style on the square; modern street facades and repair and reconstruction to existing nineteenth century facades elsewhere.
Internally, the project has improved the technical and social functioning of the opera house for staff and visitors, with the refurbishment of the existing auditorium and foyers, accommodation for the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet including rehearsal facilities and a second auditorium, and reconstruction of part of the Floral Hall.
The existing Grade I listed auditorium, has been both faithfully refurbished to preserve its essential character and extensively modernised to improve sightlines, acoustic performance, audience comfort, access, audience facilities, seating capacity and theatrical lighting.
Vertical access by escalator and lifts, disabled access to all parts of the building, access for the general public to areas of the foyers during the day contribute to a more open Royal Opera House.
- Begun: Jul 1996
- Completed: 1999
- Floor area: 50,000m2
- Sector: Arts and culture
- Total cost: £140M
- Funding: National Lottery grant
- Tender date: Dec 1997
- Procurement: Construction Management
- Address: Bow St, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD, United Kingdom
- Architect: BDP, Dixon Jones
- Project architects: Edward Jones, Jeremy Dixon
- Client: Royal Opera House
- Interior Design Adviser (Auditorium): Mlinaric Henry and Zervudachi
- Historic building advisor: Margaret and Richard Davies & Associates
- External Envelope Consultant: Arup Facade Engineering
- Theatre consultant: Anne Minors Performance Consultants
- Technical consultant: Haddon Few Montuschi
- Acoustic engineer: Arup Acoustics
- Theatre consultant: ROH Theatre Consultants
- Cost consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
- Construction Adviser: Stanhope Properties
- Construction manager: Schal Construction Management
- Structural engineer: Arup
- Services engineer: Arup