Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop

High House Production Park, Thurrock

The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop was the first of NHA's two buildings for the Royal Opera House at High House Production Park (the other being a Costume Centre) following our masterplan for the site.

The BREEAM 'Excellent' building creates a new larger purpose-built facility for the Opera House's set construction and fabrication workshops.  The building has a strong presence on the site and provides a focus at the heart of the new production campus. It accommodates a large paint-shop which enables both vertical and horizontal scene-painting as well as carpentry and metal workshops.

The vaulted building form is designed to allow fully assembled scenery to be seen as it will be on stage, and incorporates continuous rooflights set between the deep primary structural truss members to provide even daylight with reduced glare. 

 Click here and here to link to the ROH's films of the building. 

The workshop has exceeded all our expectations as a work place and is the envy of other Opera Houses around the world. It has totally transformed the way we build and paint our scenery.
David Pritchard, Head of Production, Royal Opera House
Dedicated to light and to the craft of making.
RIBA Awards judges

Integrated design

Admitting even daylight to the interior was crucial:  the structural trusses of the roof are separated by triple-glazed linear rooflights so that environmental and structural aspects of the design are completely integrated.  The curved cladding on the underside of the trusses is designed to reflect the light and reduce glare, and to absorb sound to provide a quiet working environment.  Within the paintshop, the light falls both on the floor for horizontal scene painting and on the inner wall for vertical painting.  The low-energy artificial lights on the underside of the trusses are graded to achieve even lighting by night.

The working conditions are second to none.
David Pritchard, Head of Production, Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House building is absolutely stunning. World class work goes on here.
Harriet Harman

Our Team

Project Team

  • Client: Royal Opera House
  • Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald
  • Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
  • Structural Engineer: Arup
  • Services Engineer: Arup
  • Contractors: Maclaren Construction
  • Contractor's Architect: Chetwood
  • Contractor's Engineer: WSP
  • Photography: Hufton & Crow


  • Winner: RIBA East Spirit of Ingenuity Award
  • Winner: RICS Awards - Project of the Year (Regeneration & Conservation)
  • Commendation: Civic Trust Awards
  • Finalist: New London Award