Alexandra Palace London, United Kingdom
The theatre today is not the original 1873 vision for the space but a design that has been altered several times. After the first fire only 16 days after its grand opening, a theatre was included in the reopened palace with an auditorium holding 2,500 people. To compensate for the shortcomings in sightlines, a mechanised and raked timber stage was designed and installed which has been completely renovated in the last 15 years with grants from English Heritage.
AMPC and SSD carried out a feasibility study for the theatre investigating ways to make the space and the sound commercially viable by hosting activities such as banqueting, corporate events, and cinema screenings as well as rehearsals for theatre, opera, and orchestra. The theatre has a character which is welcoming and its proportions are generous enough that it has an immediate appeal to producing companies looking for found space in which to be creative. The balance of aging decoration, mixed with large plain areas is reminiscent of the Brooklyn Academy of Music Harvey Theater, which visionary director Peter Brook so ably responded to.