Council's award winning partnership approach to Storyhouse development

19 November 2018

The Council’s Building Control Service has been praised for its work on the design and rebuild of Chester’s Storyhouse.

They played a major role in Storyhouse winning the Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion category at the prestigious LABC Building Excellence Awards.

The project showed high standards of technical innovation, sustainability and design to beat an impressive shortlist of developments from around the country.

Chester’s Grade II Listed Oden cinema was renovated and remodelled with an extension to house a new theatre. The project resulted in a fully integrated library creating a place where people can borrow a book, use the bistro, see a theatre show or film.

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “The LABC Building Excellence Awards showcase buildings and design teams that have had to deal with complex technical or construction issues.  They highlight innovative solutions and building control professionalism that leads to high quality construction projects. 

“Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Building Control Service is fully deserving of this recognition. The whole team approach on this project ensured that the Council’s team was involved throughout. It is an excellent example of what can be achieved when design and project teams work collaboratively together.”

Andrew Bentley, CEO at Storyhouse, said: “Storyhouse is a project with collaboration and partnership at the very heart of its establishment, it wouldn’t be the building that it is today without the projects team’s collaborative approach.” 

LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall said: “Our winners demonstrate how positive working relationships with local council building control teams achieve high quality buildings. Our awards are unique because they recognise how this cooperation improves building standards and professionalism across the industry.”

The panel of expert judges said “The works at Storyhouse were complicated and challenging due to the mix of an existing listed art deco building and new large extension, which was constructed on historically important ground.

"Everything about this scheme was well thought through including accessibility and sensitivity to its original 1936 design. The scale of ambition was inspiring and the standard achieved was excellent all round.”

This national award follows Storyhouse being successful in winning the same category of the The North West Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards earlier in the year.

The building has won a number of awards since it opened in 2017 including the 2018 RIBA National Awards for architecture and two National Civic Trust Awards.

It was constructed by Kier Construction and designed lead architect Bennetts Associates and Ellis Williams Architects for Cheshire West & Chester Council.

Construction work on Storyhouse in 2016
Construction work on Storyhouse in 2016

Construction work on Storyhouse in 2016
Construction work on Storyhouse in 2016

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