Nicholas Hare Architects were appointed by the Royal Opera House in 2007 to design a new production workshop for set construction and fabrication at a new site in Purfleet Essex.
The new building accommodates a large paint-shop for vertical and horizontal scene-painting as well as carpentry and metal workshops.
The vaulted building form is designed to allow fully assembled scenery to be seen as it will on stage, and incorporates continuous rooflights set between the deep primary structural truss members to provide even daylight with reduced glare.
The arched roof is living and planted with sedum to soak up rainwater and provide extra insulation. Long skylights curve in the roof to provide even daylight with reduced glare creating improved conditions to work under.
The cedar wood faced building has a strong presence in the new production campus at the High House Production Park, which includes restored barns and gardens.
The workshop was shortlisted for the New London Architecture Award in 2011 and the Production Campus was named Project of the Year and won the Regeneration award at the 2011 Rics East of England awards.
The scheme recently received the Riba East Spirit of Ingenuity Award for its "dedication to light and to the craft of making".
"The workshop has exceeded all our expectations as a work place and is the envy of other Opera Houses around the world. It has totally transformed the way we build and paint our scenery."
Location: Purfleet Bypass, United Kingdom Architects: Nicholas Hare Architects Structural Engineer: Arup Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald Area: 4,300 sqm Year: 2012 Client: Royal Opera House Photographs: Hufton + Crow