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Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’

Shortlist 2019

Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’

Location: London
Architect: Stanton Williams
Client: Royal Opera House
Structural engineers: Arup, Robert Bird Group
Main contractor: Swift Crafted Ltd
Joinery: Birmingham Veneers Ltd, TT Gillard, Thornell Veneers Ltd
Wood supplier: Missouri Walnut LLC
Veneer supplier: Reliance Veneer Co Ltd
Wood species: American black walnut

Striking the right balance between heritage and 21st century life, the transformation of the Royal Opera House reimagines the world-renowned home of ballet and opera. Improved access and transparency, a completely new Linbury Theatre and new foyers, terraces, cafes, bars, restaurant and retail facilities extend the building’s life outside of performance hours. At entrance level, subtle timber elements inlaid in the stone floor offer a warm welcome. Descending into the double-height Linbury Theatre foyer, the atmosphere becomes more intimate and theatrical as exquisitely book matched veneer surfaces are complemented by elegant linear grids of timber batons and solid wood parquet. The Linbury Theatre is entirely clad in black walnut, inspired by the rich cherry cladding in the main 1858 Opera House auditorium. Lights, acoustic insulation and sound equipment are integrated within the timber.