Liverpool’s Royal Court Wins British Construction Industry Award

LIVERPOOL’S Royal Court and architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) are celebrating after being awarded the British Construction Industry Award for Building Project of the Year (up to £10m) at a ceremony in London this week. The award recognises Acts l and ll of an ongoing four-phase redevelopment of the Grade II listed theatre. Act I took place in 2012 and focused on the refurbishment of the original 1186 seat auditorium. New seats were installed, facilities were remodelled and extensive repair and refurbishment works were carried out on the 1938 Art Deco building. Last year and this year saw Act ll adding a new box office and a weathered steel and glass-fronted extension that wraps around the building. A lift to all floors was added and a new welcome space created so the venue can be better used during the day. This award follows the project’s success at the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards last month, where it was awarded Overall Retrofit of the Year. AHMM were also awarded the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize last year for their transformation of the Burntwood School in London. Plans for Act III are now in place and planned to go ahead in 2017. Act III will cost £2.9m in total and will include the building of a brand new 150 seat studio space in the basement of the venue which will be used for small scale comedy and music events, as well as small theatre productions which could then be developed for the main auditorium. It will also be used by the Youth Theatre and Community Choir for rehearsals and performances. More work will be done in the Front Of House areas, remodelling the balcony seating and creating a larger, more open bar area on the third and fourth floors. This will complement the work done on the first and second floors during Act II of the renovation, which will finish later this month. There will also be a substantial investment backstage with work being done on the dressing rooms and renewing technical equipment. Gillian Miller, Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Royal Court, said: “It is fantastic both for us as a building and AHMM to get recognition for the work that they have done so far. The contractors on both phases of the scheme also deserve congratulations, Nobles in Act I and MellWood Construction in Act II. In a city that is packed with beautiful, historic buildings it is good to know that we have created something that can match up to that standard.” The Royal Court Theatre attracted funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2011 and invested over £1.2 million in the first phase of improvements. Act II was part funded by a European Regional Development Fund grant matched with a loan from Liverpool City Council.