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View: Grid List
Date
1984
Region
UK
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
Royal Opera House
Location
Covent Garden, London

We were one of four competition finalists for the improvement and enlargement of the Royal Opera House and its adjacent site in Covent Garden. 

Royal Opera House

We had three aims for the Royal Opera House scheme. It must present itself outward to the surrounding city along its own outer edges. It must work inward from those edges towards and into the Opera House to allow it to work better. It must establish a new garden above in which the flytower could flourish.

Facing outward, we proposed to reassemble the combined elevations of the Bow Street and Covent Garden cast iron facades of the historic Floral Hall next to the existing portico of the Opera House. 

For the Covent Garden side of the new Opera House we re-established the original building line, maintaining the scale and proportions of the original design, to complete the piazza. 

In detail our treatment was tribute to Inigo Jones’ original design and a response to the surrounding buildings as they stood. A recreated stone arcade formed a base for new elevations of glass and enameled steel, arranged in Jones’ proportions. 

Above, hedges lined the leading edges of terraces and formal trees marked the corners of a garden looking over a garden. 

Working inward, we suggested rebuilding and enlarging the stage, flytower and back and side stages, and improving the foyers, while not altering the character of the auditorium. 

Shops and cafes enlivened the ground floor, offices on the floors above formed the building’s Covent Garden frontage.