Iconic London landmark honoured at New London Awards
Alexandra Palace celebrates winning in the public buildings unbuilt category
Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) and architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios were honoured yesterday as winners in the public buildings – unbuilt category at the New London Awards. The annual awards organised and held by New London Architecture (NLA) celebrates the best designs and developments that have recently completed or are currently underway in the capital.
Under the plans, the eastern end of the Palace, comprising the BBC Studios and the Victorian Theatre will be repaired and refurbished, together with the glazed East Court which will be transformed into a more welcoming public space. .
The BBC studios – birthplace of high-definition television broadcasts in 1936 – will be turned into an interactive visitor attraction, drawing on the BBC’s extraordinarily rich archives and telling the remarkable story of popular entertainment culminating in the birth and development of broadcast television. There will be a special focus on schools and learning programmes, displays of historic equipment and hands-on engagement with the art of making television programmes.
The Palace’s stunning hidden theatre dating from 1875 will also be brought back to life for community and commercial use with theatrical performances, cinema screenings, live comedy, acoustic music and corporate entertainment among the ideas backed by leading arts figures. The theatre will accommodate audiences of up to 1,300 but has been designed with flexibility to suit smaller and more intimate audience numbers as required..
They will be connected – conceptually and physically – by the glazed East Court, where layers of its history will be revealed. The improved welcome and reconnected spaces will serve the needs of the local community while also bringing a broader national and international audience to Alexandra Palace.
Emma Dagnes, Managing Director of Alexandra Palace commented:
“We are thrilled with the NLA announcement. To be honoured alongside some of London’s best new construction projects is a great achievement and demonstrates that our aspirations to fulfil the potential of the Palace and its remarkable history for the local and wider community are well received.”
“There are further challenges ahead, including the launch of a new fundraising programme and preparing the Palace for the start of the construction programme later this year, but this announcement is a positive sign that the plans we have in place will do justice to this historic London landmark.”
Cllr Joanna Christophides, Chair of the APPCT Board said:
“It’s fantastic news that the New London Awards have recognised the vision for Ally Pally, which secures the long-term future of one of London’s most iconic landmarks. This historic restoration will allow some of the building’s hidden gems to finally be unveiled and is a testament to the hard work, determination and enthusiasm of staff and local people.”
Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said:
“It’s a great boost for the project at this stage to receive this fantastic accolade. Ally Pally is a much-loved part of London’s cultural life and history. It’s a great responsibility and a great opportunity to bring back to life its most important historic spaces, so we’re absolutely delighted that our sensitive but bold proposals have been recognised with this award.”
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