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Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

General Information

Structural Type: Dome
Function / usage: Theater building
Built: 1867 - 1871
Status: in use

Geographic Information & Related Structures

Location: City of Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Coordinates: 51° 30' 4.00" N    0° 10' 39.00" W

Technical Information

Dimensions

seats 7 000

Cost

cost of construction Pound sterling 199 748

Materials

dome steel

Chronology

8 April 1867

Queen Victoria signs the Royal Charter under which the hall is operated. A 999-year lease on the site was acquired at one shilling (five pence) per year.

10 April 1867

Foundation works begin.

20 May 1867

Queen Victoria lays the foundation stone.

7 November 1867

The first brick is laid by Mrs. Henry Cole.

December 1870

Queen Victoria visits the construction site. Her comment: "it looks like the British Constitution".

25 February 1871

A full-scale sound test shows a major acoustical problem: echoes, reverberations and even some blind spots. A calico velarium awning is hung beneath the dome to correct the acoustics. It stays in place until 1949.

29 May 1871

Opening.

June 1874

The awning is lowered to improve acoustics further. The state-of-the-art ventilation system breaks down and is not re-instated until 2002.

1888

The hall is lit electrically for the first time. The lights were installed by Anglo-American British Electric Company.

1949

The velarium is replaced by an aluminum canopy.

8 October 1950

The von Trapp family of Austria sings at the hall. The family was the inspiration for Rodger's and Hammerstein's musical "The Sound of Music".

1969

Fiberglass diffusers are installed in the roof.

1971

The hall is refurbished inside and outside for its centenary.

1991

The first sumo wrestling turnament ever held outside Japan in 1500 years is staged in Albert Hall.

1996

A lottery grant is awarded for the Halls re-development.

January 2000

The hall is closed for a full month to refurbish the stall seating.

26 June 2003

Stephen Fry interviews J.K. Rowling in the hall. She reads extracts from the fourth novel in the series "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". The reading is webcast live and followed by 28 million viewers.

15 July 2003

The newly constructed south porch is unveiled. It is part of the Building Development Programme. The porch includes a 60 000 piece mosaic, a 200 seast cafe & restaurant ('Cafe Consort') and a new box office.

Notes

More than half of the money needed for construction was raised by selling the seats at one hundred pounds a piece. Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales for the first to purchase theirs.

Participants

Engineering

Relevant Web Sites

Relevant Publications

  • About this
    data sheet
  • Structure-ID
    20006901
  • Date created
    20/11/2002
  • Last Update
    10/08/2014