A major overhaul of the Royal Opera House (ROH) will see new entrances on Bow Street and Covent Garden Piazza, an enlarged ground floor foyer, and refurbished theatres.
The £27million Open Up project got the green light from Westminster City Council on 17 March, and you can see what those plans entail in the gallery above. Start and completion dates are yet to be released.
ROH chief executive Alex Beard said the project 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".
One of the major problems with the ROH's current designs, the Open Up project explains, is congestion. Space, it seems, is in short supply all round at the ROH, with one comment on the website remarking: "I hope... the ROH will at some point seek planning permission for seating for average-shouldered adult human beings born following the passing of David Lloyd-George's 1909 welfare reforms, which greatly reduced childhood malnutrition and created the average British physique which exists today."
Architects Stanton Williams is behind the new designs. The firm is responsible for the revitalised King's Cross station, and currently taking on the regeneration of the the area around Centre Point.
There have been five opera houses on this spot since the mid-18th century. The current incarnation was built in in 1858, and designed by EM Barry, son of Charles Barry.