MICA Architects has won the publicly tendered contract for a £12 million upgrade of Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre
The London practice defeated an undisclosed shortlist of rival architect-led teams to win the Taunton Deane Borough Council-backed commission.
MICA will transform the 1976 venue into a new ‘vibrant and viable arts centre’ for the historic Somerset town, which was awarded Garden Town status by the government last year and plans to deliver 10,000 new homes.
The project – planned to complete in 2022 – will enlarge the main auditorium, create a new flexible studio theatre, and deliver new arts studios, along with a cinema, café and gallery.
MICA director Stuart Cade said: ‘We relish the opportunity to work with Taunton Deane Borough Council and the Taunton Theatre Association to realise their ambitions for this beautiful site by the River Tone.’
The theatre is on a prominent site close to the Somerset County Cricket Club stadium and the River Tone. It was designed by Norman Branson and opened in 1976.
The structure includes a Grade II-listed 18th-century Brewhouse which currently hosts an events space and offices. In the 1990s an arts centre was also added to the complex.
The latest project aims to expand and upgrade the facility which, the council says, currently fails to engage with its immediate context.
MICA’s winning scheme will wrap around the existing building, regenerate the river frontage and create new spaces for pop-up performances and events.