Planning Awards Countdown: Best use of Heritage in Placemaking

With the Planning Awards only three weeks away, we take a closer look at one of the shortlisted entries in the best use of heritage in placemaking category.

York Theatre Royal. Pic: De Matos Ryan
York Theatre Royal. Pic: De Matos Ryan

York Theatre Royal, De Matos Ryan

York Theatre Royal has occupied its city centre site since 1744. During that time, the Grade II-listed building has seen several renovations and additions. In 1968, a new foyer and a vaulted concrete pavilion were added alongside the original building.

Speaking to stakeholders, including staff, cast, and audience members, architects De Matos Ryan identified the need to adapt the building to create a coherent space with the aim of improving the visitor experience and maximising the theatre’s creative potential.

Changes to the front of house saw the left and right sides of the building reconnected to create a new civic space that was previously occupied by a passageway and broom cupboards. The project also sought to reveal more of the theatre’s heritage to the public. Glazing was used on the theatre’s Victorian colonnade to create a street-facing café with the intention of drawing visitors into the building. The 1968 extension was refurbished and floor coverings, furniture, and lighting were all upgraded in an attempt to return design coherence to the building.

According to De Matos Ryan, the redevelopment intends to unlock the potential of a complex site that had developed incrementally over 270 years. The firm hopes that the additional space and ability to attract more people into the building will help safeguard the theatre’s future.

Other shortlisted entries:

The Aldcliffe Yard development by public-private joint venture H20 Urban involved the refurbishment of Grade II-listed stone buildings.on a canalside site in Lancaster.

Firstplan acted as planning consultant on the restoration and refurbishment of a Grade II* listed former Odeon cinema in Muswell Hill for new operator Everyman.

Consultancy WYG worked with Cardiff City Council to redevelop a derelict Grade II listed tram depot to provide Wales's first self-sustaining arts centre and business hub.

Architects Stockwool’s plans for artists’ studios and 44 homes in London’s Hackney Wick were inspired by an adjacent Edwardian warehouse.

The World of Wedgwood celebrates the ceramics company’s history and its association with Stoke-on-Trent alongside a new headquarters and 209 homes.

Remains from the Roman Temple of Mithras were reinstated as the centrepiece of a public exhibition space within Bloomberg’s new headquarters in the City of London.

The Planning Awards, London, 21 June 6.30-9.30pm: why attend?

This year, the Planning Awards, incorporating placemaking categories, will be presented at a ceremony at Savoy Place in the heart of London on Wednesday 21 June. The event will bring together a mix of leading public and private sector built environment professionals, offering networking and learning opportunities throughout the evening. It will showcase the projects, plans and people behind the most outstanding planning and place-making work across the UK.

Details of how to obtain tickets can be found here.

Details of the full Planning Awards shortlist can be found here.


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