Our guest speaker for this lecture was Matthew Curtis, who worked on the Storyhouse in Chester.
The idea initially came about in 2012, and that's where the project began. The plan was to combine elements of workplaces and learning spaces into this cultural building.
The Storyhouse was initially a gateway theatre and Odeon cinema. When it was an Odeon, it was kept in the art deco, streamlined, bold style. The current project aimed to marry these elements with modern design. The building was originally built in 1963, and closed in 2007.
They decided to create a new building next to the original but use glass to combine them - representing the old and new with the glass and brick. This new space would support performances, be a collaborative space, have a quiet area and a hub in the centre.
A note I made, their photographer was Mark Carline, who photographed the work in progress in an interesting documentary style. They later also had photographer Peter Cook as part of the team.
The team stressed how important it was to keep the balance between the old and the new at all times, always referring back to images of the original and keeping old architecture in tact.
The typography and logo was designed by 'This is True North', a Manchester based company.
The team wanted signs to be easy to read, and so used symbols such as on the bathroom doors. This enables everyone to be able to understand them no matter what language they speak. This kind of universal communication is key in good graphic design.
Another design aspect that had to be taken into consideration was the ability to change the room depending on the amount of people. They managed to design and build a floor that lifts up to create a much more intimate area (from 800 seats to 500).
I found this lecture to be particularly interesting as I am fascinated by design, classic buildings and cinema.
Matthew and the team are currently working on the Whitby hall extension and Woolwich creative district.