Congratulations Everyman! Theatre Wins RIBA Stirling Prize 2014

The Everyman Theatre in Liverpool by Haworth Tompkins architects wins 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building of the year. Image courtesy Andrew Hendry

Liverpool’s new Everyman Theatre, designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, wins Britain’s most prestigious architecture award…

It’s official: the best building of the year, according to the Royal Institute of British Architects, is the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. Now in its 19th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize is the UK’s most coveted architecture prize; and the theatre was up against some strong competition, including the Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo, London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, and The Shard by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

Opening to the public in March this year, the Everyman has been acclaimed by architects and visitors alike, in achieving something remarkably difficult; retaining the warm atmosphere and unusual features of a much loved building through a complete demolition and rebuild, providing high-spec and extended facilities needed in a 21st century arts space.

New Eveyman (c) Brian Roberts

RIBA judges described Haworth Tompkins first new theatre as “ truly for every man, woman and child… Its context — the handsome street that links the two cathedrals — is brilliantly complemented by the building’s scale, transparency, materials and quirky sense of humour, notably where the solar shading is transformed into a parade of Liverpudlians.

“It is ground-breaking as a truly public building [and] an extraordinary contribution to both theatre and the city.”

Echoing the judges’s sentiments, RIBA President Stephen Hodder spoke highly of the architect’s dedication to the theatre’s relationship to the people of the city. “The success of this exceptional new building lies in the architect’s close involvement with the local community throughout the project. Haworth Tompkins have struck the perfect balance between continuity and change to win the hearts and minds of the people of Liverpool with the vibrant new Everyman.

“Complementing beautifully with the surrounding listed buildings, it is a ground-breaking example of how to build a daring bold and highly sustainable large public building in a historic city centre. The building exceeds expectations.”

New Eveyman (c) Brian Roberts

Obviously delighted, Steve Tompkins of Haworth Tompkins (pictured top) described winning the award as “an enormous honour”; adding: “we have grown to love the Everyman and the great city that it serves. It is also an important endorsement of our studio’s ethos and an encouragement to carry on working the way we do, despite the pressures all of us are under to speed up and dumb down. We couldn’t be more delighted.”

The Everyman & Playhouse’s Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz and Executive Director Deborah Aydon (pictured top centre), who shouted and screamed on winning, said: “We’re thrilled to have won… The Everyman was built with humanity at its heart, an intent embodied by the 105 people of Liverpool on its façade. Since we reopened the warmth of feeling from the public to their much-loved Everyman – given a daring and brilliant rebirth from Haworth Tompkins – has been almost overwhelming.

“Ten years ago when we embarked on this journey with Haworth Tompkins we could never have imagined it would end in winning the RIBA Stirling Prize: they have designed a building that supplies joy beyond expectation to every visitor and those of us lucky enough to work there.”

Congratulations, Everyman, and long may you be prize-winning!

Laura Robertson, Editor

See Sneak Peek: Inside The New Everyman for more images of the RIBA Stirling Prize winner 2014

See our photo gallery of the creation of the new Everyman

See RIBA North West Regional Awards — The Winners in Pictures

Top image: courtesy Andrew Hendry. All other images courtesy Brian Roberts

Posted on 17/10/2014 by thedoublenegative