Behind the scenes
The story of the Everyman is one of collaboration, experimentation and triumph through adversity, and these qualities were demonstrated by the entire design team, contractors and the client. Situated on Hope Street and intersecting the route between the city's Anglican and Catholic cathedrals, the old Everyman had become known as Liverpool’s third cathedral so the decision to demolish it was an incredibly brave one. We shared the anxiety of doing this with the entire design team, and we knew we had to create a special building to replace it.
The feature facade aside, one of the most striking elements of the exterior of the building are the four vast chimneys required for the natural ventilation. The success of the natural ventilation is a testament to collaboration and open-minded design as its success not only demonstrates the skill of the mechanical engineers at Watermans building services but also Haworth Tompkins ability to elegantly facilitate the space requirements. It also forced the rest of the design team including Charcoalblue, Alan Baxter Associates and Gillerion Scott Acoustic Design to approach our design differently and support.
At all times the client had a unfaltering commitment to sustainability, and their infectious passion enabled GVA Acuity to manage the complex process and Gardiner and Theobald to ensure that the project was delivered on budget. The quality of a design means nothing however unless it is matched by the quality of the build and Gilbert Ash and their team of subcontractors realised the aspirations with great care and attention to detail.
The auditorium is the centrepiece of the building but some of the areas we are most proud of can be found at the rear of the building. Accessed from Arad Street, the get-in to the old everyman will be remembered with a cold shiver by many touring companies. The new building has level access to a large get-in and scene dock providing a safe and easy route directly onto stage - all of which can be carefully observed by Jeff the technical director through a window high up into his office. This office forms part of the backstage accommodation which also includes a number of dressing rooms and a Green Room with a balcony visually linking it to the rehearsal room. It will be really exciting to see how the different companies who use the Everyman make use of these facilities and how it can facilitate creativity.
Throughout the design of the new Everyman Theatre, all elements were continually refined and tested with everyone working together to achieve the best possible building. This continued throughout the construction phase, when Andy Hayles (Charcoalblue's Managing Partner) was on site and noticed that by omitting a bit of brick work a direct link could be made from the control room to the thrust bridges creating a very useful route for technicians known on site as the ‘Hayles door’.
Ian Stickland - Project Manager, Charcoalblue