Coliseum, London

Frank Matcham
Date Built
St Martin's Lane, WC2
The Coliseum theatre building dominates St Martin's Lane with its strikingly ornamented tower topped with a rotating globe.  The theatre is home to the English National Opera.  The Grade II* Listed building was designed by the famous Frank Matcham and built between 1902 and 1904.  The Coliseum is regarded as one of Matcham's finest achievements.

The listing details describe it as having, "... Channelled terracotta facing, painted over, slate roofs. Exuberant Free Baroque ambitious design, the Edwardian "Theatre de Luxe of London" with richly decorated interiors and a vast and grandiose auditorium. 3 main storeys. Asymmetrical facade with a lofty tower to the right and a shorter pavilion-tower to left, and a further south wing with shop. "

"The main tower has balconied Venetian window at loggia level and rises first to elaborate cornice enriched with cartouches, then as Ionic peristyle with figure sculpture at corners supporting advanced coupled columns, entablature and balustrade surmounted by pedestalled ball finials to corners, drum with oculi and stepped dome surmounted by (formerly revolving) large metal and glass globe."

"Triple arcaded entrances approximately in centre with polished red granite columns and voussoirs and finely executed decorative woodwork to doors and frames."

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