Everyman Theatre

Everyman Theatre

Architect
Haworth Tompkins
Location
Liverpool, United Kingdom | View Map
Project Year
2013
Category
Theaters
Stories By
Haworth Tompkins

Gilbert-Ash

Clark Door Limited
Dan Kenyon
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Fire Rated Pivot DoorsClark Door Limited
WindowsSCHÜCO
BrickworkDaas Baksteen
Timber flooringHakwood
HardwareYannedis

Product Spec Sheet
Windows
by SCHÜCO
Brickwork
Timber flooring
by Hakwood
Hardware

Everyman Theatre

Haworth Tompkins as Architects

The Liverpool Everyman is a new theatre, won in open European competition, for an internationally regarded producing company. The scope of work includes a 400 seat adaptable auditorium, a smaller performance and development space, a large rehearsal room, public foyers, exhibition spaces, catering and bar facilities, along with supporting offices, workshops and ancillary spaces. The entire façade is a large, collaborative work of public art. The design combines thermally massive construction with a series of natural ventilation systems and low energy technical infrastructures to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating for this complex and densely inhabited urban building.


The Everyman holds an important place in Liverpool culture. The original theatre, converted from the 19th century Hope Hall chapel, had served the city well as a centre of creativity, conviviality and dissent (often centred in its subterranean Bistro) but by the new millennium the building was in need of complete replacement to serve a rapidly expanding production and participation programme. Haworth Tompkins’ brief was to design a technically advanced and highly adaptable new theatre that would retain the friendly, demotic accessibility of the old building, project the organisation’s values of cultural inclusion, community engagement and local creativity, and encapsulate the collective identity of the people of Liverpool. The new building occupies the same sensitive, historic city centre site in Hope Street, immediately adjacent to Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral and surrounded by 18th and 19th century listed buildings, so a balance of sensitivity and announcement in the external public realm was a significant design criterion. Another central aspect of the brief was to design an urban public building with exceptional energy efficiency both in construction and in use.


The building makes use of the complex and constrained site geometry by arranging the public spaces around a series of half levels, establishing a continuous winding promenade from street to auditorium. Foyers and catering spaces are arranged on three levels including a new Bistro, culminating in a long piano nobile foyer overlooking the street. The auditorium is an adaptable thrust stage space of 400 seats, constructed from the reclaimed bricks of Hope Hall and manifesting itself as the internal walls of the foyers. The building incorporates numerous creative workspaces, with a rehearsal room, workshops, a sound studio, a Writers’ Room overlooking the foyer, and EV1 - a special studio dedicated to the Young Everyman Playhouse education and community groups. A diverse disability group has monitored the design from the outset.


Externally, local red brick was selected for the walls and four large ventilation stacks, giving the building a distinct silhouette and meshing it into the surrounding architecture. The main west facing façade of the building is as a large-scale public work of art consisting of 105 moveable metal sunshades, each one carrying a life-sized, water-cut portrait of a contemporary Liverpool resident. Working with Liverpool photographer Dan Kenyon, the project engaged every section of the city’s community in a series of public events, so that the completed building can be read as a collective family snapshot of the population in all its diversity. Typographer and artist Jake Tilson created a special font for a new version of the iconic red ‘Everyman’ sign, whilst regular collaborating visual artist Antoni Malinowski made a large painted ceiling piece for the foyer, to complement an internal palette of brickwork, black steel, oak, reclaimed Iroko, deeply coloured plywood and pale in situ concrete.


The Everyman has been conceived from the outset as an exemplar of sustainable good practice. An earlier feasibility study had included a much larger and more expensive building on a new site, but Haworth Tompkins argued for the importance of continuity and compactness on the original site. Carefully dismantling the existing structure, all the nineteenth century bricks were salvaged for reuse as the shell of the new auditorium and recycled the timbers of the roof structure. By making efficient use of the site footprint Haworth Tompkins avoided the need to acquire a bigger site and demolish more adjoining buildings. Together with the client team they distilled the space brief into its densest and most adaptable form.


Having minimised the space and material requirement of the project, the fabric was designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, unusual for an urban theatre building. Natural ventilation for the main performance and workspaces is achieved via large roof vents and underfloor intake plenums, using thermal mass for pre-cooling, and the foyers are vented via opening screens and a large lightwell. The fully exposed concrete structure (with a high percentage of cement replacement) and reclaimed brickwork walls provide excellent thermal mass, while the orientation and fenestration design optimize solar response - the entire west façade is designed as a large screen of moveable sunshades. Offices and ancillary spaces are ventilated via opening windows.


The building has taken almost a decade of intensive teamwork to conceive, achieve consensus, fundraise, design and build, and the design will ensure a long future life of enjoyment by a diverse population of artists, audiences and staff.

Construction of the Everyman Theatre, RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted 2014

Gilbert-Ash as Contractors

This project involved the construction of a new BREEAM Excellent iconic 450 seat theatre including state of the art auditorium, audience gallery and over-stage technical bridges to allow for vastly increased seating, staging and rigging flexibility. The theatre has been designed to create a fully accessible building for audience, staff and practitioners with the new auditorium re-creating the wide thrust stage of the existing Everyman Theatre.


In addition to the ‘front of house’ auditorium, foyer and bistro spaces, the new building includes a ‘Theatre and Community’ studio, writer’s study, meeting and function rooms. New back of house and support facilities include a scenic workshop, rehearsal room with recording suite, dressing rooms, administration areas and adequate storage space.


The site is located on an important plot within the Mount Pleasant conservation area of Liverpool, on the junction of Mount Pleasant and Hope St, part of the processional route between the two great Liverpool cathedrals.


Awards Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize shortlisted 2014 Royal Institute of British Architects National Award 2014 Royal Institute of British Architects North West Regional Award 2014 Royal Institute of British Architects North West Building of the Year Award 2014 World Architectural News Award for Performing Spaces Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Award – Best Public Service Building 2014 BREEAM Excellent American Institute of Architects UK Honorable Mention


Design Consultation The objective was to create an iconic new building for the city within a sensitive conservation area whilst retaining the quirky, counter-cultural ethos for which it is widely known and loved. This was a delicate balance to strike and the design process was informed by wide ranging consultation with the local community, current theatregoers, writers, actors, heritage groups, as well as other cultural institutions within the city.


Innovations The front of house and auditorium walls are lined with the reclaimed bricks of the theatre, once the old Hope Hall chapel. A total of 25,000 bricks from the original Victorian chapel shell were saved when the theatre was demolished. This number was supplemented by foraging for original 1830s bricks sourced from north Liverpool and from L8. The much loved, glowing burnt gold seating fabric is also reincarnated in the new design.


Complex Services Integration The auditorium, studio and rehearsal rooms are all designed to be fully naturally ventilated. The design also includes rainwater harvesting, a highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) system, a wood burning stove, high levels of insulation and portrait screens which are adjustable to provide variable external sun shading and regulation of internal temperatures.


The natural ventilation system to the auditorium is designed to supply 50mᶟ of fresh air per second which is externally expressed by a series of brick chimneys to the rear of the building. The chimneys reach 23m above street level, reflecting the industrial Victorian warehouse aesthetic of Arrad St. They animate the skyline when viewed from afar on the cathedral steps but are not visible along Hope Street.


The need to coordinate the services throughout the project was essential as there was a high degree of hidden service elements and specialist equipment within the building. Our Building Services Manager ensured the successful coordination of highly complex services through careful planning and communication.


Complex Structure The majority of the finishes on the project were board-marked, bare-faced, exposed concrete and fair-faced brickwork. Containment for the electrical and technical services had to be cast into the concrete. This required careful integration and co-ordination with the structure and finishes.


Contractor Design Through a public consultation process at design stage, the people of Liverpool have been immortilised on the structure, with 105 portrait screens on the decorative shutters to the façade.


Achieving this vision as part of the contractor designed portion has resulted in the use of 8mm anodised bronze aluminium plates using a computer-controlled and high pressure water jet cutting process. Depicting the uniqueness of all 105 individuals, the shutters can be turned to adjust view and shading. These shutters are held off the principal façade with stainless steel brackets, allowing the shutters to be easily and safely accessed for maintenance and adjustment.


Acoustic Performance The acoustic performance of the building was essential. Specialist acoustic materials and methods were adopted to achieve acoustic isolation in certain areas of the building. One of the doors required a 56dB noise reduction. All acoustic performance testing proved our success in achieving the high standards required.


Clark Door Produce Custom Pivot Doors for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool

Clark Door Limited as Fire Rated Pivot Doors

Owned and managed by the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust, The Everyman was closed and completely rebuilt between 2011 and 2014. Clark Door supplied and installed a range of doors from acoustic steel hinged and composite doors through to fire rated single and double leaf Pivot doors.

Clark Door fire rated Pivot doors, being integrated with the buildings’ fire alarm sytem close automatically, creating fire compartmentalisation. This feature and their space saving profile, being recessed into the wall when open, allow greater freedom in the Architect’s functional and aesthetic design. The bespoke design allowed decorative panels to be fitted onto the door faces and are well matched with the surrounding walls, they give the impression of being hidden.

One of the Pivot Doors manufactured for the Everyman Theatre is the tallest Clark Door has made to date at 4.6 metres high. The door is held open by an electromagnet and is designed to seal off the stairway in event of a fire. 

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