Alexandra Palace
In Brief

Alexandra Palace


Construction value:


FCBStudios are leading the design team for this major project at Alexandra Palace funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Haringey Council. We are undertaking significant refurbishment and repair of this listed public building while allowing its operations in the west side to continue successfully.

The HLF project is focussed on the East Wing which, despite being partially derelict, contains the very popular Ice Rink. Surrounding the rink in a U-shape are the former BBC Studios, the Victorian Theatre and the glazed East Court.

All these spaces offer their own particular delight and aspects of historic significance. The East Court was once a grand exhibition space, part of a wider experience of promenade and spectacle so beloved of the Victorian public. The 19th century theatre, dark for over eighty years, bears a highly atmospheric patina of age. It is a true ‘found space’, a snap-shot of a grander time, now in ‘stabilised decay’. Finally the BBC Studios gave birth in 1936 to a technology that was to change the world – high definition television.

Read  'Suspended Animation' by Architect Matt Somerville.

The Lost Theatre

Alexandra Palace is being transformed. The East Wing Restoration Project is under way, and represents the biggest investment in the building for a generation.

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Plans backed by important stakeholders and residents

The scheme won support from English Heritage, the Theatres Trust, the Friends of Alexandra Palace Theatre, the Friends of Alexandra Palace Park, the Victorian Society and the Alexandra Palace Television Group as well as local residents. This project represents a unique opportunity for the ‘People’s Palace’ to fulfil its potential as a place of learning and enjoyment for the wider community and to provide a significant boost to the local economy. 

In September 2016 we were appointed to develop a strategic masterplan, to further regenerate the local area.

Design Approach
Bringing new life back to lost spaces to encourage visitors to explore the Palace in new ways

The challenge for the Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust, and therefore for FCBStudios as design team leaders, is to bring new life back to these spaces and to encourage visitors to explore the Palace in new ways. 

Our approach is to define a new typology of attractions using the valuable assets of the Theatre and BBC studios which will be connected conceptually and physically by the glazed East Court which will be activated with a great food offer and activities that are thoughtful, educative, playful and fun.

Visitor Destination
The former BBC Studios gave birth in 1936 to a technology that was to change the world - high definition television.

Both conservation and new design are informed of course by the historic building and its associated performance and working spaces. We aim to use the collections and the story of the earliest BBC transmissions as a foundation to create a new type of experience. We will augment these historic stories into a significant changing display, also exploring the contemporary world of transmission and reception, which would provide a compelling 21st century context for many visitors to this important site.

"It has a wonderful atmosphere, the acoustic is extraordinarily good. What was exciting as we came in and started making music in there was that the building began to breathe again!"
Jane Glover, BBC Concert Orchestra
"A clever design strategy based on the concept of ‘arrested decay' has allowed a modest budget to bring a major performance space back to life. Light touch repair of the historic interior is combined successfully with new materials to create architectural poetry."
Haringey Design Awards Judges Citation
"It's been waiting to happen for so long, it's just amazing that as a resource it has been left underused for thirty or forty years"
New London Awards 2015
"Opening up the Victorian theatre and transforming the derelict BBC studios will mean more people can enjoy Alexandra Palace and learn about its rich heritage, while we can be confident of a sustainable future for this iconic building."
Haringey Council Leader Claire Kober
Selected Awards

2015 New London Awards: Public Buildings Unbuilt Winner

2018 Haringey Design Awards: Best Restoration Project

2018 Haringey Design Awards: Best Project in Haringey