This is the Royal Opera House, often just referred to as Covent Garden as that was the site of the original theatre. It is home to the Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet companies. This is the third theatre built on this site with the previous two both destroyed by fire, a serious hazard prior to the discovery of electricity.
During the 1990s the whole complex was redeveloped with the help of 'Lottery' funding. It took 3 years at a cost of £178m to completely transform the theatre with the building of new technical and rehearsal facilities as well as the rebuilding of the almost derelict Floral Hall.
Although it looks like another window at the other end of the Paul Hamlyn Hall (still known as The Floral Hall) it is a mirror creating a wonderful reflection of the iron and glass frontage. The name Floral Hall goes back to when this was part of the Covent Garden fruit and flower market.
Cleaning these windows is quite a major job whereas across the road the windows appear not to have been cleaned for quite some time.
The window is part of Bow Street Police station and magistrate court completed in 1881 and closed in 2006. It was here that London's first professional Police force was founded in 1749 known then as the Bow Street Runners. The old cells are going to become a small Police Museum and the old magistrate's court will be a boutique hotel and restaurant.
This extension to the Opera House was part of the 1990s redevelopment. The building is also used for the annual BAFTA ( British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards which will take place this Sunday so I thought an apt time to show you around.
I wandered inside to have a look at the Floral Hall and then went upstairs onto the roof. Not sure if it is open to the public but no-one challenged me so with camera in hand I took these different views (for me) of Covent Garden.
Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections