An extraordinary intervention that sits comfortably within its historic setting
Ian Ritchie Architects for The Royal Academy of Music
Contract value: Confidential
This extraordinary intervention fulfils the Royal Academy of Music’s desire for more accommodation within the confines of its grade I and II listed buildings. It replaces a 1970s auditorium, and adds a new one with a different ambience at rooftop level. The result has a contemporary feel that sits comfortably within its historic setting. The theatre, designed to accommodate both opera and musical theatre, provides over 300 seats, 40 per cent more than in its previous incarnation.
It has a warm sensual quality, its faces lined in meticulously detailed faceted cherry wood. The additional 100-seat recital hall exploits the last major area into which the Academy could expand. Clad in Nordic blue pre-patinated copper developed for the project, it merges with the new fly tower to create a unified form that is imperceptible at street level. Lined in pale, exquisitely detailed lime washed oak inside, it is tranquil, calming and visually cool.
Joint Building of the Year sponsored by Artifice Press