Friday, June 19, 2015

Scottish Opera Wins Cultural Award For Architectural Expansion

The exterior of the award-winning structure in Glasgow.
(click on image to enlarge)
"Scottish Opera's recently transformed performance home, Theatre Royal Glasgow, has won Cultural Building of the Year at the RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) Awards 2015. From 65 submissions across Scotland and a shortlist of 24, 12 winners were announced last night at an awards ceremony in The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh. The judging panel of industry specialists praised Page\Park Architects’ innovative design of the building: ‘Creating a welcoming entrance foyer and embracing a dramatic, sinuous stair, this new structure boldly signposts Scottish Opera’s HQ. 'Street to seat' was the ethos, with the client wanting to literally 'open up' theatre and opera as art forms. By providing a welcoming entrance, addressing the street corner, the theatre experience has been 'democratised'.’ All the RIAS Award-winning buildings - including a nursery, a distillery and a cancer care centre - will now go forward to be considered for Britain’s richest architectural prize, the £25,000 Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, to be announced in November. RIAS was founded almost 100 years ago in 1916, and the awards, though only in their fourth year, have already become the most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland."

A winding staircase makes for a dramatic centerpiece.
(click on image to enlarge)
"The Theatre Royal Glasgow's stunning new foyers have won Best Leisure/Culture Building at the Scottish Design Awards 2015. Organised by The Drum magazine, the Scottish Design Awards are now in their 18th year and are Scotland’s most prestigious awards for architecture firms and design agencies. The awards aim to recognise creativity within Scotland’s design industry, with the judging panel of specialists looking for innovative pieces of work and concepts that stand out from the crowd. The awards ceremony took place on 21 May in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. Lynn Lester, Managing Director of Drum Events said ‘It was an incredible night for the industry and all those involved should be proud of what they have brought to design in Scotland’." [Source]

Read the architect's concept for the expansion, and see more photos, after the jump.

"The foyer extension for Scottish Opera at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal was focused on creating a transformational experience for audiences, encouraging wider community engagement and building a sustainable business for the future. The project focused on the audience’s journey from ‘street to seat’ – on improved approach, entrance, intuitive internal wayfinding and the provision of enhanced audience facilities. Provision of lifts to provide full access to all upper
Detail of the magnificent staircase for patrons to ascend.
theatre balconies and compliance with accessibility legislation was an important driver behind the project, but also the Client’s desire to literally ‘open up’ the theatre and opera as an art form by the provision of open and welcoming foyers to attract a wider audience. The demolition of the former Café Royal building provided the opportunity to create a dramatic extension addressing the street corner of Hope Street and Cowcaddens Road, allowing the Theatre to celebrate the corner in a fashion prevalent through Victorian Glasgow. The form of the extension is derived from the splendid category A listed auditorium. A new box office and café at stalls level complements new bar facilities at upper levels. To the east is the ‘core’, housing two 17 person lifts, new toilets and an escape stair. Above stalls level the core is repetitive in plan to assist with wayfinding and to breed familiarity with regular patrons. To provide a column free interior the edge structural
The view to the street from inside the new extension.
articulation of the various plan levels plays various roles, cantilevering in one direction towards the free standing middle of the plan, sheltering the ground level approach and finally shaping the roof line expression. Requiring significant depth to carry out these roles, the lateral length of the structural columns is exploited to frame a perimeter of bays around the foyer, enclosed by a stepping ‘in and out’ metal cladding and glazing which wraps the structure and associated acoustically tempered ventilation boxes. In order to mediate between differing adjacent urban scales, the building is cut back at balcony level creating an external roof terrace commanding panoramic views across the city. Selective improvements were made within the auditorium, including the provision of boxes for wheelchair users and their companions at the rear of the upper balconies, and the re-seating of the Stalls and Dress Circle to improve sightlines and minimise restricted view seats. The new foyers provide welcoming and accessible facilities and are an appropriate prelude to the rich Victorian theatre beyond. This significant cultural project has been a fantastic opportunity to create a major new piece of civic architecture." [Source]

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