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Stanton Williams’ Royal Opera House revamp plans revealed

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Stanton Williams has revealed its long-awaited designs for the overhaul of the world-famous Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden

The practice’s contest winning designs form part of the Opera House’s ‘Open Up’ project which involves improving the Grade I-listed building’s entrances and public spaces.

The scheme will open up the entrance from the piazza and a new glazed entrance will be created on Bow Street.

It will include spaces for exhibitions, education, special events, digital interaction and a revamped bar and restaurant.

The project, which is expected to cost £37 million, will also upgrade the opera house’s second theatre – the Linbury Studio Theatre.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Royal Opera House head Alex Beard, said: ‘There will be improved ground-floor and upper-level foyers and better flow between floors with views through our building as we replace certain walls with glass. We want the buzz that begins before performances to be present throughout the day; we want more people to use the spaces more of the time, for that undercurrent of excitement to be a constant feature.’

Stanton Williams was chosen to work on the job ahead of last year’s Stirling Prize winners Witherford Watson Mann back in February 2013.

Amanda Levete, Caruso St John, Diller Scofidio and Renfro, and Heatherwick Studio were originally shortlisted in the six-month long competition.

The scheme has gone on display in the foyer of the opera house as part of a public consultation on the project.

A planning application for the theatre job is expected to be submitted in December.

In 1999, the Royal Opera House re-opened after a £140 million revamp by BDP and Dixon Jones.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Why weren't Dixon Jones asked about it, or at least invited to compete? Another example of clients not bothering to go to the original architects! It's a pretty consistent situation which I have highlighted before. How about the AJ doing an investigation into why it occurs so frequently?

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