Three-year scheme brings previously closed spaces back into use

Alexandra Palace’s theatre and east court space have reopened at the north London multi-purpose venue after a £27m three-year refurbishment, backed by National Lottery funding and Haringey council.

The east court was once a large exhibition space, while the 19th-century theatre closed to the public more than 80 years ago.

Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios oversaw the revamp of the building, which first opened in 1873 and was the original home of the BBC in the 1930s.

The building suffered the effects of two serious fires, one shortly after it was built, the other in 1980. Its main hall has subsequently hosted music concerts, sports events including darts’ championships and live television broadcasts.

Matt Somerville, associate at FCB, said of the refurbishment: “In bringing it back to life we’ve done an enormous amount of work so the theatre can support a diversity of uses and formats it could never accommodate before, but most of this work is behind the scenes, hidden from view.”

Sections of the theatre’s walls appear “distressed”, a finish similar to other restoration projects including Wilton’s Music Hall in Whitechapel, east London.

Willmott Dixon was main contractor on the project.