Charcoalblue Celebrates as Four of its Consultancy Projects Win RIBA Awards 2012
Charcoalblue's projects have swept the board at this year's prestigious RIBA Awards. The Royal Institute of British Architects honored four separate Charcoalblue projects -- Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre; The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield; Central St Martin's Kings Cross Campus; and Newcastle's Theatre Royal -- with six separate awards.
"Huge congratulations go to the design teams from David Chipperfields, Sansome Hall, and Keith Williams as worthy winners," says managing director of Charcoalblue, Andy Hayles.
The globally respected RIBA Awards recognize architectural excellence and are judged by a panel of RIBA Chartered Architects and RIBA International Fellows. During the judging process, each UK region appoints a short-listing panel, which visit all the schemes entered. They then produce a list of buildings to be visited by the regional jury.
Charcoalblue alongside Sansome Hall Architects and historic consultant Dr. David Wilmore were presented with the RIBA 'Hadrian' award for the refurbishment of Newcastle's Theatre Royal -- a project which saw the team deliver an ambitious restoration of the historic venue.
Charcoalblue was responsible for the design of all the technical systems and their integration within the fabric of the building, as well as advising on sightlines and seating layouts. This work also won the project the RIBA Conservation Award, praising the team's attention to theatre architect Frank Matcham's original 1901 designs -- including preserving the original plasterwork.
"We were thrilled to be able to work closely with the architects and historic consultant to restore the auditorium to its former glory. Between us we removed years of dust and dirt to take the theatre back to the genius of Matcham's original vision," says Gavin Green, Charcoalblue's head of theatre design.
Charcoalblue was also recognized for the work it did with architect Keith Williams on the new Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, which opened in October 2011. The venue was warmly praised by the Telegraph's Charles Spencer as "a beauty... the new building offers a sleek and airy modernity that sits remarkably comfortably within the ancient city."
And Charcoalblue's expertise and design work alongside architects David Chipperfield for Wakefield's stunning Hepworth Gallery, which opened in May 2011, was also celebrated. Charcoalblue designed and specified technical infrastructure and a flexible, re-configurable space, which allows speedy transformation from one layout to another -- from a fully blacked out theatre to a natural light-filled exhibition space.
"We're thrilled that our work has found so much favor with so many crucial people: the architects, the clients, and most importantly the end users and audiences," says Hayles. "Theatre consultancy is a delicate balancing act -- there's no perfect model, no simple solution -- each performance space is unique. We support and work alongside the architects and clients to ensure we deliver uniquely dynamic buildings that work both aesthetically and as exciting and convivial performance spaces."