Everyman Theatre Wins Stirling Prize

John Hill
16. October 2014
Photo: Philip Vile

In a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects this evening, Liverpool's Everyman Theatre, designed by Haworth Tompkins, was named the recipient of the 2014 Stirling Prize.

The building beat out the five other shortlisted projects (including those designed by Pritzker Prize winners Zaha Hadid and Renzo Piano, and one by 2015 Royal Gold Medal recipients O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects) to be awarded "the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year."

Photo: Philip Vile

The most striking element of the design, which reuses and/or recycles close to 90% of the old Everyman Theatre, is a movable facade of 105 life-size cutouts of Liverpool residents overlooking Hope Street. The figures sit above custom signage by typographer and artist Jake Tilson.

Photo: Philip Vile

Inside, the theatre is a complex series of public spaces on multiple levels, a procession that culminates in the 400-seat auditorium but which also includes a new bistro and a piano nobile overlooking the street, not to mention the numerous creative workspaces (rehearsal rooms, workshops, studios) for the performers.

Photo: Philip Vile

Everyman Theatre, called a "found space" by the RIBA, is reminiscent of Haworth Tompkins' earlier Young Vic Theatre, which was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2007. Both theatres reuse considerable portions of their predecessors, layering new over old in creative ways. In this case, the firm's commitment to this tactic paid off with the RIBA's highest award.

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