Leisure Case Study – A Touch of Class at Alexandra Palace
Product: Electro-Magnetic Locks
Location: North London
Alexandra Palace, an iconic north London venue, which first opened as “The People’s Palace” in 1873 has seen the venue come back to life after 80 years of being closed to the public. The ambitious East Wing Restoration Project began following the publication of the charity’s master-plan in 2012. The plan identified six key areas for phased regeneration across the Palace, to define the optimum long term use of the Palace for public benefit and commercial value and to underpin the vision for the regeneration and development of the site.
Wilmott Dixon started work on the restoration in 2016, which then took over two years to complete, with the opening of the East Court in December 2018. The Securefast AEB800 Touch Bar in anodized gold connected to double electro-magnetic locks was used to open a number of doors back stage which were linked to the access control system installed in the building. The product was chosen to allow emergency release in the direction of escape, whilst controlling security from the opposite direction. One of the doors is also linked to the control room so that the door can be monitored to ensure is was secure when required and not left open.
The prestige building built for the Victorians to provide a great environment and recreation centre caught fire just sixteen days after opening and destroyed the building. Two years after the destruction of the original building, a new Palace was opened which included the Great Hall, home to the mighty Willis Organ which was driven by two steam engines and vast bellows. In 1935 the BBC leased the eastern part of the building with the first public television transmissions in 1936. Alexandra Palace was the main transmitting centre for the BBC until 1956, when it was used exclusively for news broadcasts.
Haringey Council became trustees for the building in 1980 and six months later the Palace caught fire for the second time destroying many parts of the building.
Following restoration the Palace was re-opened on 17th March 1988 and continues as a Charitable Trust administered by the London Borough of Haringey.
Alexandra Palace has built a reputation as one of London’s premier venues due to the beautiful setting with panoramic views of London and architectural features of the building. The Palace is now a popular choice for both corporate and private events and currently houses an ice rink, bar and conservation area to provide year round entertainment for everyone.