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Competition: Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre

Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre
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The Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust (BHTT) is seeking an architect for a major £6-to-£8 million overhaul of the historic city centre venue

The winning practice will draw up plans to revamp the façade, foyers and public spaces of the 1895 theatre, which is on the edge of the city’s £1.5 billion Smithfield regeneration zone. 

The project, planned to start on site in 2021, will transform the building to encourage public use throughout the day and better connections to surrounding public spaces such as Hippodrome Square. A feasibility study has already been completed by Haworth Tompkins.

In its brief, the theatre trust says: ‘Birmingham Hippodrome has been through a number of incarnations since its early years as a circus venue. Now better known as a major cultural catalyst in the city/region, the Hippodrome is home to Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange, as well as welcoming the biggest West End touring productions and Welsh National Opera to the Midlands.

‘Now reaching nearly 850,000 people each year, our building is beginning to show wear and tear, as well as not being able to fulfil our ambitions for the future. Our last major capital refurbishment was completed in 2001 with a significant grant from the National Lottery 2 through Arts Council England. There are a number of issues with the current building and its operation. BHTT now wishes to appoint an architectural practice to lead a design team and progress designs in accordance with the RIBA plan of work stages.’

Birmingham Hippodrome is a 1,900-capacity venue located on Hurst Street a short distance from Birmingham New Street station. The building’s exterior was significantly remodelled during the 1960s and then again in the 1980s before being transformed by Associated Architects 18 years ago.

The latest project will relocate the hippodrome’s bar and café to the main entrance, upgrade foyers and create an illuminated façade. A new small-scale performance space and level three restaurant will also be delivered.

Bids will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on price. The deadline for applications is 12noon on 4 October. 

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

 

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