Taking on an existing Art Deco building, retaining existing features and creating new facilities around the existing space. This had to be carried out within a substantial city centre development with public access on all sides, a pedestrianised zone to the South and residents in extremely close proximity.
The building’s Art Deco brick walls and historically significant cinema interior had to be retained, but the existing spaces in the building were totally unsuitable for the kind of theatre and cinema that Storyhouse wanted to create. This meant designing around the features of the existing building, whilst accommodating the requirements of the completed structure.
Re-programming was necessary early on in the project as the site was excavated after a two month archaeological dig which exposed evidence of a Roman barracks building and a Roman road. Finds included pottery shards, coins, cistern pits and terracotta roof tiles.
Before any brick was laid the team was quick to begin collaborating and engaging with several stakeholder groups.
Specialist consultants were brought in for the heritage work and a number of key supply-chain partners were involved with the designers in specific workshops. Separate interview days were held for three subcontract packages - M&E, stage lighting & audio visual and stage engineering - to ensure the best people were engaged for these specialist areas. These were attended by Kier, the client and the design team.
Early engagement and lean planning workshops were also vital in successfully highlighting and discussing problems and preventing potential delays further into the project. Workshops were held to map out key actions and ensure the completion date was met as well as to promote positive communication and collaboration between Kier, Cheshire West and Chester Council and design teams.
Storyhouse has already won 10 awards, including a RIBA North West Awardand LABC ‘Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion’ and has been nominated for several others. The Arts Council awarded Storyhouse their highest ever score (97% survey satisfaction) after visiting the site and meeting the team.
The largest public building and the most ambitious creative project Chester has seen, Storyhouse is the only building of its kind in the UK unifying a cinema, library and theatre. Within its first 12 months of opening, 1 million customers have passed through its doors, meaning that it is officially one of the UK’s largest cultural visitor attractions.
" The team are enthusiastic, collaborative and forward thinking. The team all have a culture that has existed throughout the project, understanding each other’s pressures and needs. "Project Delivery Manager Cheshire West and Chester Council
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Completing the penultimate phase of the £65m waterfront development, taking it through the planning process, regenerating over 17 acres in Walsall including The Light Cinema and popular national restaurant chains, making the most of a canalised location and engaging with the local community.
Delivering the £450m Watford Riverwell as a 15-20 year joint venture with Watford Borough Council, which involved regenerating 70 acres of land in West Watford to create residential, office, retail, leisure, industrial and hotel space.
Creating a new retail and leisure heart for the town comprising 23 shops, restaurants and bars, together with a multi-screen Empire cinema, 60 bed Premier Inn hotel and a 345 space car park.
Creating a new visitor centre at this Site of Special Scientific Interest after the previous one was damaged by a tidal surge, ensuring its protection from flooding and its coastal position, incorporating sustainable features and refurbishing an 1800s coastguard building to be used as an exhibition space.
Designing and constructing a new leisure complex within this holiday village on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park in Devon, including toddler and 20m adult swimming pools, Tornado and Twister flume rides, and water playground, gymnasium, other leisure facilities and associated plant and equipment.
Creating a viable and affordable facility that brought all Crewe's lifestyle services - pool, gym, sports hall, library, specialist daycare and family service facilities - together under one roof, meeting a diverse range of user needs and building within a constrained town centre site.
Restoring an iconic building, taking part in feasibility studies to decide the best use of the building, working on the project to turn it into a seven-screen cinema with restaurants, coffee shop and retail units, winning multiple industry awards and creating something of huge importance to local people.
Building a striking new build boutique hotel with works comprising the design, construction and fit out of 192 hotel rooms, 4,700m2 Cat A office space and full fit out of three floors of bars and restaurants.