RISE are pleased to announce that our project to rejuvenate the Royal Opera House in London is complete. Known as the ‘Open Up’ project, RISE acted as Construction Managers working with Architects Stanton Williams to transform the Royal Opera House into an inclusive cultural and social hub. The architectural vision during the 30 month construction period was to “open up” the space below the historic Grade I listed cast iron and glass façade along Bow Street, which dates from the 1850s.
“We are proud to report that of the 1,968 panes of glass that were originally installed in this magnificent structure, 1,968 original panes of glass were handed back to the Client on completion”. Gareth Stapleton, CEO of RISE
The project significantly enhances the experience for the public, artists and guest companies coming to the Royal Opera House. A series of legible and flexible spaces can now be inhabited and curated by the institution. A new glazed extension and entrance on Bow Street provides passers-by with a clear view of the activities taking place inside. In addition, the entrance leading to the Covent Garden Piazza has been revamped with more foyer space to display the work of the Royal Opera House.
The project team’s collaborative approach was key to the success of this complex and iconic construction project in one of London’s favourite arts and culture buildings. The Linbury Theatre is now an impressive centre piece with its warm wooden interiors and subtle lighting, whilst in contrast the Amphitheatre terrace restaurant is a bright and open space overlooking Covent Garden Piazza.
“The project’s biggest challenge involved the logistical complexity of carving out new space for the interventions whilst the building remained in use. Time restrictions were also in place due to the surrounding residential accommodation. Thanks to careful phasing and decanting throughout the lengthy construction programme, RISE was able to ensure that not one Royal Opera House rehearsal or main auditorium performance was missed.” – Stanton Williams Architects
“The opera house stayed open throughout the three-year project and continued its impressive programme of hosting almost 1,000 performances a year and welcoming 40 million annual visitors from around the world” – Building Magazine
“We couldn’t afford to lose a single rehearsal, let alone a single performance,” Mr. Beard said at a news conference from the Linbury’s stage. – New York Times
“It has been akin to open-heart surgery while running a marathon,” says Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House since 2013. Beard isn’t one to use such similes lightly, having led, in whole or in part, the fiendishly complex extensions and renovations at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives in his previous role as the gallery’s deputy director. None of these projects were as complicated, he says. – The Guardian
Client: Royal Opera House
Architects: Stanton Williams
Construction Managers: Rise
Project Managers: Equals Consulting
Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
Services Engineers: Arup
Structural Engineers: Robert Bird Group
Theatre Consultant: Charcoalblue
Restaurant Interiors: Studio Linse
Retail shop design: Drinkalldean
Access Consultants: All Clear Designs
Planning Consultant: Gerald Eve
Catering Consultant: Kendrick Hobb
Lighting Consultant: Studio Fractal
Photography: Luke Hayes Photography