LABC Trophy for Storyhouse Cultural Centre, Chester

Storyhouse is the winner for Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion at the LABC Building Excellence Awards Grand Finals

A panel of industry experts judged a shortlist of the highest quality projects from around England and Wales to reward the best in technical innovation, sustainability and design.

The project involved the renovation and remodelling of a Grade II listed Odeon cinema with an extension to house a new theatre.

The building is the first auditorium in the world designed to operate in two modes: a 500- seat thrust stage for produced work and an 800-seat proscenium arch theatre for touring shows, replacing a traditional box office with self-service ticketing solutions.

It is the first cultural building in the UK to include a fully integrated library creating a place where customers can borrow a book, use the bistro, see a theatre or film or take part in one of the many participative programmes.

The whole team approach on this project ensured that Cheshire West and Chester Council’s building control service was involved throughout, working with their professional contacts in the fire brigade and the conservation team.

The Chester Odeon project is on excellent example of what can be achieved when design and project teams work collaboratively together.

LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall said: “Our Building Excellence Awards are an opportunity for the industry to celebrate good practice. Our winners demonstrate how positive working relationships with local council building control teams achieve high quality, sustainable buildings. Our awards are unique because they recognise how this cooperation improves building standards and professionalism across the industry.”

The panel of expert judges said “The works at Storyhouse were complicated and challenging due to the mix of an existing listed art deco building and new large extension, which was constructed on historically important ground.

“Everything about this scheme was well thought through including accessibility and sensitivity to its original 1936 design. The scale of ambition was inspiring and the standard achieved was excellent all round.”

LABC Trophy for Storyhouse Cultural Centre, Chester
The Queen and Megan Markle Storyhouse Cultural Centre, Chester
LABC Trophy for Storyhouse Cultural Centre, Chester
LABC Trophy for Storyhouse Cultural Centre, Chester
Storyhouse external