Stirling Prize: Everyman Theatre makes shortlist for top award

Outdoor and indoor view of theatre The theatre closed in 2011 but was rebuilt and opened again in February

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Liverpool's newly rebuilt Everyman Theatre has made the shortlist for a top architecture prize.

The Royal Institute of British Architects' (Riba) Stirling Prize is awarded to the best new building.

Judges said the Everyman, which reopened in February, was of "outstanding quality" and was "a building that will age gracefully".

Other nominated sites include Manchester School of Art, the Shard in London and the Library of Birmingham.

Work started on the new Everyman, designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, in 2011.

Rebuilding the theatre - famed for launching the careers of actors including Bill Nighy, Julie Walters and Pete Postlethwaite - cost £27m.

Interior views of Everyman Theatre The rebuilding process was boosted by £17m of funding from the National Lottery

The panel which picked the shortlist said: "[the Everyman] will both reassure and delight its loyal audience and those discovering this gem for the first time."

Analysis

The new Everyman has gone down well with critics, actors and punters alike.

With its bare brick walls and a seating layout that mirrors that of the original, it has retained some of the theatre's rough and ready spirit.

And it has avoided feeling shiny but soulless, as new buildings sometimes can.

The building's facilities should set it up for the future and allow a wide range of performances on stage.

Deborah Aydon, Everyman and Playhouse executive director, said: "We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award and very proud that the Everyman, which has been so quickly taken to the hearts of the people of Liverpool, has also been able to fly the flag nationally for imaginative and high-quality architecture in our city."

Mayor Joe Anderson said: "The Everyman Theatre is a hugely important part of the cultural fabric of Liverpool and the new look building is an amazing space which the whole city has already fallen in love with.

"When I looked around it for the first time I was struck by how they had sensitively developed it to retain the best aspects of the old theatre while creating a fantastic new, modern performance space. It richly deserves this prestigious prize."

The Sterling Prize winner, picked by a team of judges, will be announced on 16 October.

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