Interserve selected to design and build new costume centre for Royal Opera House

Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has been chosen to design and build the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre for the Royal Opera House in Purfleet, Essex.

The Centre, designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, is due to open in September 2015. It will be part of the High House Production Park, a world-class cultural hub for creative industries in the area, providing development and training in backstage roles, technical expertise and community engagement.

Over 20,000 costumes for Royal Ballet and Royal Opera productions will be housed in the building which will be climate controlled for the safe storage of fragile fabrics. The Royal Opera House maintains a unique and impressive collection of costumes, including some productions dating back over 40 years. In addition, there is an historical collection dating back to the 19th century of more than 6,000 items, which need to be kept in carefully controlled conditions to ensure they are properly conserved. The costumes to be housed in the Costume Centre are for revival productions rather than new ones. The Centre will also include facilities for the making and refurbishing of costumes.

The low carbon project is designed to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) ‘excellent’ rating. BREEAM measures how sustainable buildings are and to be classified as ‘excellent’, a building must score at least 70 per cent in a BREEAM assessment.

Andrew Howard, Interserve Divisional Director added:

“This project ties in perfectly with Interserve’s aim to build places that benefit people and have a positive environmental impact. This state-of-the-art facility will be built using sustainable materials and construction methods and we also plan to use the local supply chain extensively on this project, providing jobs and a boost to the local economy.”

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said:

“This is a very exciting addition to our work on site at the High House Production Park. The specification for the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre has been very carefully considered to ensure the right conditions to store and work with often very delicate fabrics. Interserve demonstrated an ability to quickly understand our requirements for a practical building that achieves excellent environmental standards and we look forward to working with them.”