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Robin Snell lands London Coliseum revamp

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Robin Snell and Partners has won the £1.2 million job to transform the London Coliseum

The practice has triumphed in the ‘hotly-contested’ competition run by the English National Opera and the RIBA.

The £1.2 million project will open up the ground floor of the grade II*-listed theatre which first opened its doors in 1904.

The move will provide uninterrupted views from the street connecting the theatre with its West End location and creating space for a new wine bar and café.

The 2,359-seat Edwardian theatre underwent an initial restoration project which completed in 2004, and this scheme will form the second phase of its transformation.

Architect Robin Snell said: ‘Our work will aim to create the complete theatre experience; “From Stage to Street and from Street to Seat”, with renewed foyer spaces as an important architectural component.

‘Architecturally our design strategy will be to open up the ground floor foyer to the street, bringing the inside outside; re-form the elegant Edwardian foyer rooms, which have become lost; restore the Roman mosaic floors to their original splendour; re-light the exterior and interior spaces and position contemporary objects and furniture within - all with the aim of bringing theatrical sparkle to the place.’

Keith Williams, founder of Keith Williams Architects on behalf of RIBA Competitions, added: ‘The proposed upgrade of the Coliseum’s foyer presents an enormous design challenge to any designer, and the contest to select an architect for the project was hotly contested.

Robin Snell & Partners were in the end chosen for the sensitivity of their approach to Matcham’s famous theatre as well as the breadth of their vision in seeing opportunities for the ultimate transformation of this much loved building. We can expect modernity and sensitivity, vision and careful transformation and I think as chairman of the awarding jury, this is the right approach.’

Work is expected to begin on the scheme in early 2016.

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