Kensington is home to the world famous and beautiful Royal Albert Hall, playing host to some of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring events in the cultural calendar. Events such as The Proms, Cirque du Soleil and countless Ballets are featured at the historical venue.
However, while the majority of the population are aware of what the Royal Albert Hall is, how many of us are actually clued up on its history and its origins? Probably not many of us.
For a concise and interesting overview of such, read on and allow your mind to marvel at some of the fantastic attributes this country and its Royal Albert Hall has to offer.
The venue was officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, and she changed its original name of ‘The Central Hall of Arts and Sciences’ to ‘The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences’ as a dedication to her beloved late husband, Prince Albert.
During the latter half of 1942, the hall received minor damage from bombings on London during the Second World War. Ironically, the German bombers sought to avoid destroying the iconic piece of architecture as it served them well as a landmark in their raids.
Some years later, in 1949, the canvas roof lining went through some transformations in a bid to reduce the level of noise reverb and acoustic echo. However, the aluminium panels did not have the desired effect. 1969 saw this problem come close to being resolved with the introduction of large fibreglass acoustic diffusing discs. They are commonly referred to as ‘mushrooms’ or ‘flying saucers’ and were installed just below the ceiling.
The years between 1996 and 2004 saw the British venue undergo a period of renovations and developments, aided by a £20million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund; the work totalled £70million. It was thought that such work was needed in order for the building to keep up with the modern events and performances the 21st century would be hosting.
The projects were completed with discretion, so as not to disrupt or disturb any events. They included improvements to ventilation, additional bars and restaurants, better seating, improved technical facilities and more up-to-date backstage areas. The largest of these projects was the building of a new south porch (door 12), accommodating a restaurant, new box office and a new delivery area below.
The future of this iconic building is set to remain within our capital’s landscape and kept in line with the modern demands of a luxury venue. Other plans that are currently being developed include major investments to replace the hall’s heating systems, to extend and upgrade artists’ accommodation backstage, to further improve ventilation of the auditorium, to improve the energy efficiency of the building and to upgrade and extend catering and hospitality facilities, both for the public and performers.
With these developments and further planned improvements, the Royal Albert Hall is certainly not to be avoided when visiting London. The capital city boasts much more in the way of fantastic venues and sightseeing opportunities too. So, to ensure that you do not miss out on any of these incredible sights, book yourself and your friends and family onto one of our London tours.