The Royal Opera House of London has invited architects to compete in redesigning the entrances and public spaces of its Covent Garden building.
London-based studios Heatherwick Studio, which designed the acclaimed UK Pavilion for Expo 2010, is involved in the competition.
Other competing firms include Amanda Levite Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Stanton Williams, Jamie Fobert Architects, Caruso St John Architects and Witherford Watson Mann Architects.
The projects aim is to make the space easily accessible to the public while improving the levels of comfort.
Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “We are hugely excited about the ideas and inspiration the competition will generate. The Royal Opera House is looking for the team who, if we can raise the funds needed to fulfill our shared ambitions, will create the next evolution of our building.
“We are keen to investigate the possibilities of opening up the building even more to ensure that we have the very best facilities to welcome our loyal and existing audiences and to reach out to new ones.”
The project team is also looking to reduce energy use and resources as part of the scheme, building on its ongoing plan to apply “green thinking” into all parts of the Royal Opera House.
The competition is set to run from July until November 2012, with the winner announced the following month.