Royal Court Reaps Rewards at RIBA North West Awards

Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre, one of the city’s best-loved cultural institutions, has scooped three awards at the RIBA North West Awards: RIBA North West Award 2018, RIBA North West Conservation Award 2018 and RIBA National Award 2018.

Commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre Trust and architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Thomasons was directly involved in the delivery of the three-time winning project, providing structural engineering expertise for the ACT ll & ACT III phase of the theatre’s restoration.

Citing their reason behind awarding Royal Court Theatre a triumvirate of accolades the judges highlighted how, given a modest budget of £3 million, this shabby, dilapidated building was transformed over the course of a decade into a welcoming, sustainable venue while maintaining its structural integrity.

A structure with historic significance to the locality, the Royal Court Theatre first opened its doors in 1826, and by 1881 was the most well-known touring venue in Liverpool for popular theatre, after being destroyed by fire in 1933 it was rebuilt in 1938. It had fallen behind expected current modern day theatre levels.

With a modest budget, close collaboration was required to regenerate the existing three-tier auditorium and make better use of the front-of-house space. Materials were selected to complement the red brick and walnut panelling of the existing building, as well as to highlight new features.

Together with alterations to existing internal public spaces and facilities, a new lift from the basement to fifth floor was constructed through existing floors. Externally, a brand new single storey extension was added to the Roe Street elevation to provide an entrance foyer, booking office and stage door entrance together with a fully accessible roof top terrace. Furthermore, the stage door end of the extension incorporates a large digital screen.

Commenting on the triple win, Ian Booth, Technical Director at Thomasons, said:

“These highly sought after awards are a testament to the complexity of the renovation of the Royal Court Theatre and the meticulous work which went into making the project a resounding success. Given the modest budget, resources were stretched requiring all parties involved to be creative and inventive in their approach. Ultimately, the work we have done will have a direct, positive impact on the local community in Liverpool, breathing new life into a destination to be enjoyed by all. I’m immensely proud of everyone from the Thomasons team who helped to bring this to such a satisfying completion.”

The Royal Court Theatre restoration also previously won the Building of the Year (up to £10m) at the British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards.

To find out more about Thomasons’ work on historic buildings and landmarks click here.