Sadler’s Wells takes centre stage

London’s Sadler’s Wells theatre is poised for a complete redesign after receiving 30m from the Arts Council – the second largest lottery grant since 55m was given to the Royal Opera House.

Architect Renton Howard Wood Levine designed a plan last year to “totally transform” the 300 year old theatre (DW 16 December 1994). Nicholas Hare Associates has since been appointed to work alongside the practice.

Meanwhile, Imagination and consortium Millennium III are among 15 potential operators for the Millennium Festival in the year 2000. The commission is expected to announce its shortlist tomorrow (Friday). Millennium III has spent 17 000 on its bid, which features a 5000 tonne “landing of a space station”, according to its steering committee chairman Alan Bowles.

And original proposals by Building Design Partnership, designer of the ten-year 37m redevelopment of the National Maritime Museum, have been mistakenly criticised in a leaked memorandum discovered this week. The memorandum states that if the Heritage Lottery Fund does not award an 8m grant to this project it may have to abandon its plans.

According to The Independent, BDP was dismissed in a report on the architecture of the project as having “special expertise for large-scale commercial complexes”. The report “failed to mention” that BDP was also architect to cultural projects such as London’s Royal Albert Hall.

But a spokeswoman for the Heritage Lottery Fund explains that this memorandum was referring to original proposals, which fund organisers asked the museum to rework in July.

“We have been having a lot of discussion with the museum, and we hope that the announcement might be made in the next few weeks,” she says.

“We just want to get on with designing it,” says BDP chairman Ken Draper.

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