RIBA STIRLING PRIZE 2014: LIVERPOOL EVERYMAN THEATRE WINS

_78292918_78292914Liverpool’s newly rebuilt Everyman Theatre has won the Riba Stirling Prize for best new building of the year.

The venue beat five other buildings to win the honour – the Royal Institute of British Architects’ highest accolade.

Riba president Stephen Hodder called the Everyman an “exceptional new building”.

“It is a ground-breaking example of how to build a daring bold and highly sustainable large public building in a historic city centre,” he said.

The Everyman Theatre – famed for launching the careers of actors including Bill Nighy, Julie Walters and Pete Postlethwaite – first opened in 1964 in the shell of a 19th Century chapel on one of Liverpool’s main streets.

However over the years it fell into a state of disrepair and architects Haworth Tompkins were tasked with designing a new theatre as part of a nine-year £27m rebuilding project, retaining its theme of being a “theatre for the people”.

The building’s facade features 105 punched aluminium panels portraying life-size images of Liverpool residents. Thousands queued to have their pictures taken, with the successful applicants having digital versions of their pictures etched onto the metal sun shades.

“The success of this exceptional new building lies in the architect’s close involvement with the local community throughout the project,” Mr Hodder said.

“Haworth Tompkins have struck the perfect balance between continuity and change to win the hearts and minds of the people of Liverpool with the vibrant new Everyman.”

The theatre said it was “thrilled” to win the award.

“The Everyman was built with humanity at its heart,” artistic director Gemma Bodinetz said.

“Since we reopened, the warmth of feeling from the public to their much-loved Everyman – given a daring and brilliant rebirth – has been almost overwhelming.

“Haworth Tompkins have delivered us a building that is sustainable, technically first rate and with unparalleled levels of accessibility for a theatre.”

Steve Tompkins of Haworth Tompkins said: “Winning the Riba Stirling Prize is an enormous honour for our project team and our clients, the reward for an intensive collaboration over almost a decade, during which we have grown to love the Everyman and the great city that it serves.

“It is also an important endorsement of our studio’s ethos and an encouragement to carry on working the way we do, despite the pressures all of us are under to speed up and dumb down. We couldn’t be more delighted.”

For the full article: BBC News

 

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