Arts and Culture

Creativity and control go hand-in-hand. We provide the discipline that drives innovative design. On projects for many of the UK’s most prestigious cultural institutions, we’ve made an art out of managing projects so that architects can achieve their vision. Working collaboratively, we’ve helped deliver some of the boldest buildings, extensions, refurbishments, masterplans and temporary installations of recent years.

Royal Opera House, Open Up

Client: Royal Opera House
Project: Open Up
Location: Central London
Service: Project management
Architect: Stanton Williams
Status: Completed

The Open Up project aims to significantly enhance the experience of visiting the Royal Opera House for the public, artists, and guest companies.

With a final construction cost estimated at £50.7 million, the scheme involved re-designing both the Bow Street and Covent Garden piazza entrances, new foyers (an increase of 50% foyer space) including a larger shop (designed by Drinkall Dean) and new café. The Linbury Studio theatre has been completely replaced with the new Linbury Theatre. This state-of-the-art facility has a a 400 seat auditorium and is fitted with adjustable seating configurations and electroacoustic technology.

The Opera House has also refurbished the Amphitheatre and Amphitheatre Terrace, opening up the Amphitheatre foyer and introducing a new bar and 230-cover restaurant (designed by Studio Linse) which will be open to the public rather than just performance-goers. The Clore Studio learning space has also been refurbished.

One of the project’s biggest challenges Equals faced as project managers was the logistical complexity of carving out new space for the interventions whilst the building remained in use. Time restrictions were also in place due to the surrounding residential accommodation. Thanks to careful phasing and decanting throughout the lengthy construction programme, we were able to ensure that not one ROH rehearsal or main auditorium performance was missed.

Royal Opera House, Open Up

Client: Royal Opera House
Project: Open Up
Location: Central London
Service: Project management
Architect: Stanton Williams
Status: Completed

The Open Up project aims to significantly enhance the experience of visiting the Royal Opera House for the public, artists, and guest companies.

With a final construction cost estimated at £50.7 million, the scheme involved re-designing both the Bow Street and Covent Garden piazza entrances, new foyers (an increase of 50% foyer space) including a larger shop (designed by Drinkall Dean) and new café. The Linbury Studio theatre has been completely replaced with the new Linbury Theatre. This state-of-the-art facility has a a 400 seat auditorium and is fitted with adjustable seating configurations and electroacoustic technology.

The Opera House has also refurbished the Amphitheatre and Amphitheatre Terrace, opening up the Amphitheatre foyer and introducing a new bar and 230-cover restaurant (designed by Studio Linse) which will be open to the public rather than just performance-goers. The Clore Studio learning space has also been refurbished.

One of the project’s biggest challenges Equals faced as project managers was the logistical complexity of carving out new space for the interventions whilst the building remained in use. Time restrictions were also in place due to the surrounding residential accommodation. Thanks to careful phasing and decanting throughout the lengthy construction programme, we were able to ensure that not one ROH rehearsal or main auditorium performance was missed.

Blackheath Halls - Phase 1 and 2

Client: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Project: Refurbishment of Concert Hall
Location: Blackheath, London
Service: Project and cost management and contract administration
Architect: Woods Bagot
Status: Completed

Blackheath Halls is a Grade II listed building located in South East London (part of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance), considered to be one of the oldest purpose-built concert halls still in existence. We completed phase one and two of a major programme of refurbishment and restoration work.

Phase 1 – We ensured the project successfully delivered its aim in increasing the overall thermal performance of the building and enhancing artist and audience experience. The refurbishment consisted of a new slate roof including restoration of the existing roof coverings, works brick friezes and architectural features.

Phase 2 – The main works to refurbish the existing building have provided a dynamic performance venue that continues to be an inspirational space for the staff and the students. The works included the replacement of the services installations to provide a comfortable space within the hall, and to ensure optimum acoustic performance.  Also included were improvements to back of house facilities, and the extension of the building to encompass the existing substation. Retractable seating was fitted, as well as a refurbished stage and front of house facilities. We provided project and cost management on this second phase.