Everyman Theatre wins the RIBA Stirling Prize

Published 3rd August 2023

We are proud to announce that Liverpool’s newly rebuilt Everyman Theatre has won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for best new building of the year.

Drawn from the 56 RIBA National and EU Award winners, the venue beat the five other shortlisted buildings including; London’s Shard, the Library of Birmingham, Manchester School of Art, the London Aquatics Centre and the LSE Student Centre.

Waterman has been actively involved in the development programme for the Everyman, being responsible for the full detailed design of all Building Services Engineering. Special features of the services design included a hybrid, naturally ventilated auditorium, as well as distinctive roof mounted stack chimneys, which contributed to the overall impression of the Theatre. The design delivers the first naturally ventilated auditoriums in the country, maintaining ‘total acoustic isolation’. Waterman also provided the commissioning management role to help achieve the Excellent BREEAM rating that the building received at design stage.

Nicholas Taylor, CEO of Waterman Group, commented: “We are honoured to have been part of the project team behind this prestigious award. The intensive collaboration over nine years has contributed to the unique blend of historical and new design with innovative engineering making the Everyman Theatre a land mark building in the heart of Liverpool.”

The RIBA judges highlighted the environmental design including passive natural ventilation and low energy design as one of the key aspects of the buildings success. They cited: “It is exceptionally sustainable; not only did the construction re-use 90% of the material from the old theatre, but all spaces are naturally ventilated including the auditorium with its 440 seats. Clever, out of sight concrete labyrinths supply and expel air whilst maintaining total acoustic isolation. It is one of the first naturally ventilated auditoria in the UK. The generosity of its public spaces, which, on a tight site, are unexpected and delightful, are used throughout the day and night. In summary, an extraordinary contribution to both theatre and the city, achieved through clever team working, where the new truly celebrates the past.”

The success follows the recent award winner, One Eagle Place, which scooped the award for best commercial workplace at the BCO National Awards.