Architect: Howarth Tompkins
When a client envisions a major redevelopment project that will “allow the whole building to become a vibrant, creative hub, by day and night” acousticians, naturally, get a little bit nervous. To an acoustician, vibrant is just another word for noisy. As for creative? That’s just another word for chaos. When the client proceeds to announce that this vibrant, creative hub is to include an assortment of quiet and loud spaces, nervousness may turn to panic.
Such was the case with the £28 million redevelopment of Liverpool’s treasured Everyman Theatre. Alongside such vibrant and creative spaces as the theatre’s famous wraparound auditorium, basement bistro, cafes, bars, rehearsal rooms, workshop facilities and a bustling front-of-house are such noise-sensitive features as a recording suite, meeting rooms and a writer’s study. Add to this an anticipated footfall well in-excess of 100,000 each year, and the acoustic challenge becomes more demanding still.
The client, Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust, brought in architects Haworth Tompkins, with their considerable experience of theatre work, including the Bush Theatre, the National Theatre Studio, the Young Vic, the Ustinov Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and the Chichester Festival Theatre. In tackling the various soundproofing issues, Howarth Tompkins worked with acousticians Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design. Gillieron Scott have an equally impressive roster of theatrical clients, including the Apollo Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Courtyard, the Almeida, the Chaucer Theatre and the Theatre Royal.