York Design Awards Recognises York Theatre Royal Refurbishment

wrdunn. and the entire team behind York Theatre Royal’s refurbishment celebrated after being recognised at the York Design Awards.

The redevelopment of the Theatre Royal was successful in two categories. The first was the Non-Residential (large) category, and readers of The York Press voted for its second award of the night, where the York Theatre Royal was named as The Press People’s Award winner for its outstanding design.

wrdunn. worked closely with the owners of the theatre, York Conservation Trust and architecture practice, De Matos Ryan, and the York Citizens Theatre Trust on the major external and internal refurbishment of the entire building. The project spanned twelve months with York based William Birch & Sons acting as the main contractor.

It was the building surveying team at wrdunn., headed up by Director Ian Smith, that were responsible for the preparation of a specification for extensive re-roofing, external repairs and contract administration of the works on site.

The works consisted of replacement of the slate and lead coverings to the numerous Victorian pitched roofs and renewal of the flat roofs on the acclaimed 1967 extension, designed by renowned architect, Patrick Gwynne. The contract also included upgrading of insulation and replacement of roof lights, including the striking lighting features and roof windows that can be seen in the ceiling of the theatre bar and lobby.

Ian Smith, comments: “On behalf of the entire team, we are so delighted to have been recognised by the people of York for the hard work and commitment invested into this wonderful project. To receive the Press People’s award in addition to success in our category of the York Design Awards, when we were up against such incredible competition from the across the city and surrounding areas, is a truly outstanding achievement.”

York Theatre Royal was founded in 1744 and is a Grade II* Listed building comprising a wonderful patchwork of historic periods, including Mediaeval, Georgian and Victorian, and culminating in Patrick Gwynne’s 1967 Modernist extension. In 2015 York Conservation Trust purchased the theatre from City of York Council to facilitate the project and safeguard the building’s future.

This £4.5m refurbishment conserves the historic building fabric and removes previous limitations of incremental development while providing the community and visitors with a renewed shared civic space that offers even more reasons to participate beyond the already high quality productions.

By exposing layers and opening underused up spaces, the project has revealed the theatre’s rich history while introducing suitably sympathetic contemporary interventions that bind all these periods together without stifling them.

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