The Everyman has won the 2014 Royal Institute of British Architects Awards (RIBA) Stirling Prize, the world's most prestigious architecture prize. Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) was the first co-production in the theatre, so we can vouch for its brilliance!
Our Chief Executive, Paul Crewes, is a Trustee of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, and has had the privilege to serve on the Steering Committee for the new building. He said, "I am so pleased for the whole team in Liverpool, the architects, builders and consultants who have worked on this project. It is an amazing achievement to win the Stirling Prize, and I am very proud that Kneehigh was the first visiting company to be invited to make work in such a remarkable space."
More than 4,500 people came through the doors on the first day and 30,000 more have visited since the theatre opened, highlighting the love people have for the Hope Street venue.
Everyman & Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz and Executive Director Deborah Aydon said:
'We’re thrilled to have won this most prestigious of awards. 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. Haworth Tompkins have delivered us a building that is sustainable, technically first rate and with unparalleled levels of accessibility for a theatre. On a small site with many competing needs and technical necessities they overcame every challenge with zeal and imagination to create something which is as beautiful as it is functional.
But most of all they have transformed a building that lacked so much into a building that embodies what the Everyman’s ethos has always been: world-class theatre in our auditorium, nurturing new writing, great food in convivial spaces, and somewhere for young people to dream of a future where nothing is impossible. 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.'
The RIBA judges said the new Everyman is "an extraordinary contribution to both theatre and the city, achieved through clever team working – client, architect, consultants and contractor – where the new truly celebrates the past.'".
The new Everyman, designed by Haworth Tompkins, includes new incarnations of its hallmark features – a 400-seat thrust auditorium and convivial basement bistro. 21st-century technical equipment, a rehearsal room, costume workshop and sound studio enhance both productions and training opportunities. A large studio dedicated to participatory work enables the theatre to involve more young people, schools and community groups and a Writers’ Room places artists at the heart of the building. The whole building is designed to be both exceptionally accessible for those with disabilities and highly environmentally sustainable, while the façade features an innovative Portrait Wall comprised of 105 diverse people of Liverpool.
The RIBA Stirling Prize, sponsored by Brockton Capital, is awarded to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year. The prize was presented on Thursday 16 October at RIBA headquarters in London.