18 March 2015 at 3.20pm | 47 Comments
I am delighted to announce that at its 17 March 2015 meeting Westminster City Council’s Planning Committee approved our application to Open Up the Royal Opera House’s Covent Garden home for the benefit of a growing public.
The Open Up project will enhance significantly the experience of coming to the ROH for the public, artists and guest companies; will create new opportunities to inspire audiences with our art forms; and will help this wonderful place come alive throughout the day as one of London’s great cultural assets. The project will strengthen the infrastructure for sharing our work through broadcast and digital media. It will also help to improve our financial sustainability through improved retail and catering facilities.
The main features of the Open Up project are to:
· Create new entrances from Bow Street and the Covent Garden Piazza, improving circulation and way-finding, introducing more daylight, enabling visitors to see clearly what is available in all parts of the building and how to get there
· Enlarge and open up the main foyer at ground level to create a better experience for everyone. A café, free wifi, content showcases, public events and impromptu performances will be freely available to all during the day
· Completely refurbish the Linbury Studio Theatre, enhancing its comfort and character, while improving technical facilities and acoustic qualities. This will create a world-class mid-scale auditorium for The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, and a London home for a wide range of leading UK opera and ballet touring companies
· Enclose part of the terrace at Amphitheatre level, creating a more generous foyer while adding covers for the restaurant, and improving connections with the Covent Garden Piazza below. Create a terrace off the Paul Hamlyn Hall overlooking Bow Street
· Refurbish the Clore Studio Upstairs, while enhancing technical facilities enabling it to be used for a wider range of events, for live audiences and for streaming online to a growing public
We have selected celebrated architects Stanton Williams, after an international competition, to help realize our objectives. Their respect for our heritage, appreciation of our London context, and award-winning flair will deliver a Royal Opera House fit for the 21st century.
Find out more about the full Open Up project.