Royal Opera House Bob & Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre

High House Production Park, Thurrock

The Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre is the second NHA-designed building at High House Production Park in Thurrock. It follows on from the success of our park masterplan and the RIBA award-winning ROH Production Workshop. The Costume Centre completes the third side of the Park’s central square and enhances its public accessibility – the ROH arrange popular weekly tours of the Production Workshop and Costume Centre.

The building brings together a number of specific spaces for distinct functions. New workshops, with optimised daylighting and servicing, are provided for the making and repairing of costumes. A purpose designed warehouse efficiently stores over 20,000 costumes for productions currently in repertory and a special part of the building provides secure and environmentally controlled storage for the ROH's precious historic collection of opera and ballet costumes, props, artwork and historic musical instruments.

Click here to link to an ROH film featuring the work that goes on inside the building.

The workroom is such a fantastic space for making costumes, being so large, warm and bright… the light really is perfect for detailed work.
Fay Fullerton, Head of Costume, Royal Opera House

Skills training

In a unique partnership with South Essex College and University of the Arts London, the ROH has established a BA degree course in Costume construction. A dedicated first floor workshop enables students (the next generation of costume makers) to train closely with ROH staff, gaining first-hand experience on live briefs for productions.

The Costume Centre will be a springboard for training and passing on all the technical skills which are necessary to create costumes for both the Opera and Ballet.
Fay Fullerton, Head of Costume, Royal Opera House

Efficient construction

The innovative structure of steel and cross-laminated timber exploits the different properties of each material both structurally and aesthetically, without the need for costly additional finishes. Two-storey prefabricated timber cassette panels were used for the external walls and this allowed a tight construction programme to be achieved.

Black timber-cladding was selected to be evocative of the old barn buildings on the site and to sit comfortably with the natural timber finish to the Production Workshop.

Possibly the world's greatest dressing up box.
Royal Opera House

Our Team

Project Team


  • Commendation: New London Awards (Workplace category)
  • Winner: Thurrock Business Awards