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Royal Court Theatre Liverpool : Architecture Information

Royal Court Theatre, northwest England – design by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

26 Sep 2011

Royal Court Theatre Liverpool

The Royal Court Liverpool redevelopment wins planning permission

Royal Court Liverpool
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Address: 1 Roe Street, Liverpool, L1 1HL, UK

Contact Royal Court Theatre Liverpool: 0870 787 1866

5 Mar 2009

Royal Court Liverpool

The Royal Court Liverpool – Next Stage Competition

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris confirmed as winning architects

The Royal Court Liverpool is another step closer to its restoration with award winning British architectural practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris announced today (5 Matrch 2009) as the winning architects in the Theatre’s Next Stage Competition.

The Royal Court Liverpool Royal Court Theatre Royal Court Theatre Liverpool
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Allford Hall Monaghan Morris works across a wide variety of sectors including the Barbican Arts Centre and The Saatchi Gallery in London and is increasingly looking internationally with a new University in Amsterdam and a hotel, hospital and mixed-use scheme in Ghana. The practice recently scooped a RIBA National Award for the Unity in Liverpool and were shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2008.

Their proposal for The Royal Court has addressed key challenges, such as disabled access, improving public access and circulation within the building to create a clear and exciting concept for the upgrading of the Royal Court.

Liverpool-born Paul Monaghan, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, commented, ““It is such an honour to be working on this important building in my home city and we are very excited by the powerful vision that The Royal Court has for this theatre. It was a tough competition to win against strong opposition but I truly believe that our design will breathe new life into the historic elements of the building by mixing them with new contemporary elements. We intend to build upon the great tradition of the Royal Court and create a wonderful cultural venue for its loyal supporters and the whole city.”

In September 2008, the Royal Court Liverpool Trust launched an open architecture competition to determine a new vision for the Royal Court Theatre, addressing the key issues of access, public spaces and renovation.

Fifty-one top architecture practices from as far afield as Brazil, New York and Paris applied as well as many from Liverpool. Ten judges, led by architect Roger Stephenson OBE, short-listed seven practices to work up plans for the second stage of judging.

Chair of the judges and architect Roger Stephenson OBE said, “The quality of the fifty-one submissions in this competition was outstanding. It was difficult enough to short-list the second stage competitors, then challenging indeed to arrive at a final choice, having seen the presentations from the remaining seven. We had to consider a wealth of very creative ideas for the theatre’s future. The finalist’s submissions varied in emphasis, but all had great merit. In the end, there was a consensus that Allford Hall Monaghan Morris proposal best fitted the Theatre’s aspirations and spirit.”

Trustee of the newly formed Royal Court Liverpool Trust and Chief Executive of Urban Splash, Jonathan Falkingham said, “The Trust are delighted with the outcome of the competition and look forward to working with Paul and his team at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The Royal Court is a building dear to the hearts of Liverpool people and the Trust is committed to seeing the theatre given a new lease of life for future generations. The hard work begins here as we explore ways of making this exciting scheme happen.  We would like to mention the runners up in this close-run competition.  The scheme submitted by Nord from Glasgow was superb and a very close second to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Liverpool company Studio Three also deserve a mention with their thorough and detailed response to the brief.”

Playwright Willy Russell, a keen supporter of the Royal Court said, “In recent years there’s been something of a real renaissance inside the walls of the Royal Court and so it’s very good news indeed that now the building itself is to receive some of the tender love and care that this great Liverpool landmark has long deserved.”

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris was founded over nineteen years ago by partners Simon Allford, Jonathan Hall, Paul Monaghan and Peter Morris, who had studied together at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. The practice now has a team of over 120 members.

Their success is reflected in the following awards: fifteen RIBA Awards, three RIBA National Awards, RIBA London Building of the Year Award, RIBA Sorrell Foundation School Award, four Civic Trust Awards, seven Housing Design Awards, two AIA Awards, three BCIA Awards, BCSE Industry Award for Inspiring Design 2008, three National Homebuilder Awards, two Royal Fine Art Commission Trust Awards, two National Homebuilder Awards, MIPIM/AR Best Mixed Use Future Project Award, and the award of BD Office Architect of the Year in 2006, BD Affordable Housing Architect of the Year 2008 and BD Richard Feilden Architect of the Year 2008. The Practice was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2008 for Westminster Academy.

The Royal Court Theatre is a Grade II listed building rebuilt in 1938 and situated in the heart of Liverpool next door to the world class St George’s Hall. It has one of the biggest revolve stages outside of the West End and seats up to 1250. The theatre has enjoyed a renaissance over the last three years presenting a programme of year-round popular theatre. The stalls area has been converted into cabaret-style seating enabling audiences to enjoy pre-show dinner and drinks at their table.

The Royal Court Next Stage Competition judging panel

Roger Stephenson, Stephenson Bell Architects (chair of panel)
Bryan Gray, Chairman, North West Development Agency
Jonathan Falkingham, Chief Executive, Urban Splash, Trustee, Royal Court Liverpool Trust
Mark Price, Planning and Architecture Advisor, The Theatres Trust
Henry Owen John, Regional Director, English Heritage
Councillor Flo Clucas, Deputy Leader, Liverpool City Council
Jenny Douglas, Planning Director, Liverpool Vision
Alastair Machray, Editor, Liverpool Echo
Elizabeth Christie, Chair, Royal Court Liverpool Trust
Kevin Fearon, Chief Executive, Royal Court Liverpool Ltd

The seven shortlisted schemes were on display to the public in the RIBA Architruck on St George’s Plateau for fifteen days running up to the judging.  The Trust would like to thank English Heritage and NWDA for their support towards the exhibition and competition.  The Trust will continue to engage the public with the project and have recently secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Young Roots Scheme and from The Arts Council of England to develop community and participation programmes. Visit http://www.royalcourttrust.org/

Royal Court Theatre Liverpool images / information from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 130309

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects


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