Willmott Dixon has finished restoring the East Wing of Alexandra Palace after two years of construction
The company’s team met to celebrate the opening of the Grade II listed heritage with a team meeting – the second event to happen in this famous part of the building in 80 years.
The restoration project that saw the East Wing renewed with the theatre brought back to life to provide a venue for shows, opera, plays and ballet.
The completed theatre space can now accommodate 1,300 people standing and sitting, although 800-900 will be more typical, with the stage area ready for another 100 years of entertainment.
The principal behind the work was ‘arrested decay’ – where Willmott Dixon stabilized the 80 years of decay, keeping the appearance of the theatre similar to when it closed but making it structurally sound and fit for another 100 years. |
Willmott Dixon managing director Chris Tredget says, “A bright new era dawns as hundreds of thousands of people can enjoy the restored theatre that’s been hidden from public view for around 80 years.
“I’m delighted we can bring back to London a little piece of forgotten history and hosting one of the first events there for so long was a privilege.”
To restore the building, Willmott Dixon stabilized the structure and the ceiling, whilst lifting and levelling the entire floor to re-lay all of the 1,200 original floorboards.
The stage was strengthened and around 2,000 bricks were reclaimed and used elsewhere at the Palace as part of a recycling exercise.
Alexandra Palace follows similar work Willmott Dixon is carrying out to iconic buildings such as Old Admiralty Building and, recently, creating a new home for the Design Museum at the former Commonwealth Institute.