York Theatre Royal wins prestigious York Design Award

York Theatre Royal wins prestigious York Design Award

The £6m redevelopment of York Theatre Royal to create a building fit for the 21st century audience has won two highly-coveted awards in the York Design Awards 2017.

York Theatre Royal took the Commercial/Community/Public/Educational – Large category award, competing with seven other entrants. The theatre also took The Press People’s Award where local residents vote for the scheme which ‘delights’ them most.

Chief Executive Liz Wilson said: ‘We’re delighted to be honoured with the York Design Award recognising the design integrity of the project along with all the hard work that went into creating a building that meets the needs of modern audiences.’

York Theatre Royal was among 33 buildings competing in six different categories in the Design Awards whose aim it is to encourage and promote excellence in design and conservation.

The theatre site in St Leonard’s Place has been occupied since the mid-18th century with a number of alterations being made over the years. The most significant was made by Patrick Gwynne in 1967, with its iconic mushroom columns, free flowing space and futuristic skylights – a legacy to the modern movement at the beginning of the 20th century.

Every stage of the latest redevelopment undertaken by York Citizens Theatres Trust and York Conservation Trust, was carefully designed to harmonise with the Grade II* listed building and its beautiful patchwork of architectural styles.

The refurbishment has created additional space urgently needed in order to appeal to and engage a wider community, bring more people into the building and create the opportunity to increase revenue, enabling the theatre to be more financially resilient in the future. Staff, Youth Theatre members, audience and general public were among those who determined the changes needed to improve the visitor experience.

The project was funded by Arts Council England, City of York Council and York Conservation Trust with generous grants and donations from local and national trusts and foundations, corporate and individual supporters. A further £215,000 was raised through a public fundraising campaign.