Director/ Architect De Matos Ryan, UK
“York Theatre Royal – Back to the Future”
York Theatre Royal was founded in 1744 and is one of the UK’s oldest producing theatres, serving audiences of all ages and welcoming over 200,000 visitors annually. The Grade II* Listed building is a wonderful patchwork of periods. The Georgians built over mediaeval hospital foundations before Victorians widened this core with the Gothic shell seen today. The Edwardians made improvements before Patrick Gwynne added a unique glass and concrete extension in 1968.
The theatre adapted to these surroundings, becoming flexible and creative, but the site’s incremental development meant that their buildings were a restriction. More spaces with revenue potential were needed providing opportunities to welcome visitors beyond the theatrical core offer. The project developed to unlock the potential of the site, opening the theatre’s doors to a wider community, and increasing revenue. We focused on three fundamental ambitions:
1. Improve customer experience by creating a welcoming, accessible space with enhanced audience experience in the auditorium by improving sightlines.
2. Create conditions for a sustainable business through more commercial opportunities, reducing operational costs and improving safety by efficiency savings in backstage technical and storage upgrades.
3. Improved scope for creative output by enabling wider artistic possibilities by expansion of the staging and improving acoustic separation.
Key to the success of the project is the realisation that an arts organisation nowadays needs to be more than just a producer of high quality theatre but also at the heart of their community providing not just entertainment but also a sense of belonging and a genuinely inclusive and engaging shared civic space.
Angus was at the University of Cambridge where he received a first class degree and went on to an exchange scholarship with the GSD at Harvard and a postgraduate diploma. He qualified as an architect in 1998. Having previously worked for Tim Ronalds Architects on a number of cultural and civic projects, he has particular interest on education, arts and community projects. He recently led the design and delivery of the refurbishment of York Theatre Royal.
A creative designer with a good eye for detail, he is experienced at taking care of clients and making them feel excited and comfortable about their projects. His long standing experience of building sites has given him a good practical attitude towards trades and construction. Angus has worked on a number of the practice’s award winning schemes and has taught in architecture at University of Cambridge.
INSIDE World Festival of Interiors Awards 2016 – Civic, Culture & Transport – York Theatre Royal (Winner)
The Plan Award 2015 – The Garden House (Honorable Mention)
Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2014 Best Bar in a Heritage Building – Christopher’s (Winner)
WAN House of the Year 2014 – The Garden House (Finalist)
WIN Awards 2013 Best Restaurant Interior – Christopher’s (Winner)