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Thurrock production workshop awarded ‘architecture Oscar’

Royal Opera House workshop wins Spirit of Ingenuity award.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

8 July 2012 at 7.43am | Comment on this article

The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop in Thurrock has won a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) award for Spirit of Ingenuity in recognition of its impressive architecture.

The workshop, which opened in January 2011, houses a dedicated team of artists and craftspeople who create the world-famous sets for Royal Opera House productions.

Most recently, the team in Thurrock constructed the enormous set for Les Troyens, which opened on Monday.

Designed by Nicolas Hare Architects LLP, Thurrock workshop features a painting room, metal and timber workshops, and office space, as well as an enormous build area large enough to accommodate several Royal Opera House sets at once.

The building’s structure includes several energy-efficient features, including a ‘living roof’ covered in growing sedum plants, designed to provide insulation, preserve rainwater and create a habitat for wildlife, and geothermal heating, provided by a 100-metre borehole in the earth’s core. In addition, continuous roof lights and light-sensitive lighting instead of switches allow even daylight with reduced glare.

The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop is now running public tours, offering visitors an exclusive insight into Royal Opera House set design and construction. A full programme of tours will commence in September.

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