Tales from the Theatrical Woods: Chapter 25
From David Lloyd Jones,
Consultant Architect, Project Co-ordinator
We are into the last furlong . . . again. We thought May 2017 was stressful enough and phase 2 of the opera house building work would be a stroll in the park. Not to be. The dreadful winter weather and taking on another brand new building which needed planning consent, designing and constructing saw to that. However, despite the residual presence of a scaffold pole or two, you will be amazed as to what has been achieved; both that which was fully expected and that which will surprise.
Actually, no building is ever ‘complete’ despite what architects like to think. They have a life of their own and the opera house will be no exception. There are important items to introduce and complete between the next two seasons and, no doubt between seasons to come.
Competing aspects of completion were brought into stark focus this week. At one end of the scale, clogging up access to the building, were the comings and goings of JCBs laded with excavated material taken from the enormous hole sunk into an adjacent field to accommodate the estate’s (and the lavatorium’s) foul water treatment tanks, and the enormous tanks themselves being guided into place. At the other end, the comings and goings of metal workers, joiners, plumbers and electricians choreographed by Martin Smith in an endless dance to complete the rotunda and the staircases of the opera house on time. Gone is the planned grand ceremonial opening of the rotunda. The inaugural pee is likely to take place on the first day of the season.
David Lloyd Jones