Page N4.2. 26 October 2011                     
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    2011 Stirling Prize Shortlist

    continued

    The Angel Building entry sequence off St. John Street, with a publicly accessible cafe and lounge, uses the atrium form to animate a commercial ground floor, while a new tailored glass-and-metal facade creates space for a landscaped strip.

    Inside, a finely executed and generous three-meter (ten-foot) grid of in-situ concrete fins and beams — instead of the usual enslaving 1.5 meters (five feet) — rises up to a gridded toplight. The color and smooth surface of the concrete is complemented by the smaller-scale grid of a delicate terrazzo floor.

    Project   Renovation of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres
    Location   Stratford-upon-Avon, England, UK
    Architect   Bennetts Associates
    Client   Peter Wilson, Royal Shakespeare Company
    Contractor   Mace
    Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
    Contract Value   £60 million
    Date of Completion   November 2010
    Gross Internal Area   12,000 square meters (130,000 square feet)

    In Stratford-upon-Avon, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, layers of history interweave at the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres.

    Their predecessor, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre (1879), burned in a fire and was rebuilt in 1932 under Elizabeth Scott, a pioneering female architect in the UK. When Scott designed her theater, art deco and cinema served as twin design beacons. The influence of the latter unfortunately led to a wide, fan-shaped auditorium that dampened the actors' voices.

    In 2005, the theater company sought to retain Scott's grade II* listed theater facade and foyer while rebuilding the larger of the two performance halls to form a new 1,000-seat thrust-stage auditorium, plus new front- and back-of-house facilities, all within an urban master plan.

    This major renovation sensitively incorporates the most significant remains of the earlier theaters on the site, such as the art deco interiors of the existing foyers and the teak boards from the old stage. The project also adds new elements, such as a glazed colonnade that connects the adjacent Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres for the first time.

    The smaller new thrust-stage theater has superb acoustics and an exciting atmosphere. Whereas the back seats in the old hall were 27 meters (89 feet) from the stage, the farthest seats are now only 15 (49 feet) away. The rear wall of the old auditorium remains, and defines an interstitial space used for circulation outside the new auditorium.

    In addition, a new 36-meter- (120-foot-) tall tower serves as a beacon and a public viewing platform. This, too, makes a historical reference: the old Victorian theater featured a tower of identical height whose purpose was firefighting. Sadly, the massive water tank it contained did not stop the fire that destroyed most of the building and led to Scott's flawed masterpiece.

    Project   Addition to the Museum Folkwang
    Location   Essen, Germany
    Architect   David Chipperfield Architects
    Client   Neubau Museum Folkwang Essen GmbH on behalf of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung
    Contractor   Pühl und Becker Ingenieurberatung VBI; Seroneit und Schneider
    Contract Value   Confidential
    Date of Completion   April 2010
    Gross Internal Area   24,800 square meters (267,00 square feet)

    David Chipperfield's addition to the Museum Folkwang (1960), in German's industrial Ruhr region, is a breathtakingly accomplished design. In expanding a beautiful Miesian museum by the city architects, he has created a genuinely uplifting, light-filled public space that offers a serene and yet mesmeric mixture of inward-looking courtyards and external views out.

    The new building continues the architectural principles of the old one, with an ensemble of six structures and four interior courtyards. Its external cladding consists of large panels of crushed recycled glass, giving the building a shimmering translucent finish that has qualities of alabaster. From the street, an open stairway leads into the new foyer, conceived as open interior courtyard with a cafe, restaurant, and bookshop.

    In the galleries, carefully detailed toplighting systems blend natural and artificial light, illuminating art on white walls over polished concrete floors. All the galleries and ancillary rooms, old and new, are connected with no changes in level. In the large temporary exhibition space, a flexible partitioning system can easily be assembled and remounted.   >>>

     

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    Just inside the Angel Building's main entrance, a wide lobby greets visitors. The central bay of the lobby becomes a multistory atrium.
    Photo: © Timothy Soar Extra Large Image

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    With views from upper-floor elevator landings, corridors, and rooms, the central lobby serves as a wayfinding reference point throughout the Angel Building.
    Photo: © Timothy Soar Extra Large Image

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    The Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatre complex in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, combines new construction with historic building elements from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    Photo: © Peter Cook Extra Large Image

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    Designed by Bennetts Associates, the revamped Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatre complex includes a new multilevel, 1,000-seat thrust-stage auditorium.
    Photo: © Peter Cook Extra Large Image

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    An interior circulation space separates old construction from new at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
    Photo: © Peter Cook Extra Large Image

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    The project brief for the renovation of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres called for the preservation of a modernist brick facade designed by architect Elizabeth Scott in the 1920s.
    Photo: © Peter Cook Extra Large Image

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    David Chipperfield Architects designed a major addition to the historically listed Museum Folkwang (1960) in Essen, Germany.
    Photo: © Christian Richters Extra Large Image

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    The Museum Folkwang addition builds on the theme of internal courtyards established by the earlier building, adding four new courtyards among the addition's six separate volumes.
    Photo: © Christian Richters Extra Large Image

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    The exterior cladding consists primarily of translucent rectangular panels of recycled glass with a subtle blue-green cast.
    Photo: © Christian Richters Extra Large Image

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    Inside the simply detailed interiors of the Museum Folkwang addition, the efficient placement of a minimal number of interior partition walls produces spatial complexity.
    Photo: © Christian Richters Extra Large Image

     

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