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WORK is about to get under way on the first comprehensive refurbishment of Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall since it re-opened following a major restoration in 1995.
London-based architects Caruso St John have been appointed to lead the design team who will be carrying out the £10m project at the 1939 Grade II*-listed building.
The work will focus on three main areas. The first will improve the experience for Liverpool Philharmonic’s audiences and visitors in the auditorium and front of house areas including the foyer, box office, bars and toilets.
The second involves upgrading facilities for Liverpool Philharmonic’s artists backstage and on the concert platform. And the third is focused on increasing the hall’s sustainability – such as reducing its power consumption.
Adam Caruso, one of the partners in the London-based architects’ firm, said audiences would notice the hall was “fresher” after work was completed with new lighting and enhanced sound.
He said: “Our practice has a lot of experience working for arts organisations such as Tate Britain and in historic buildings from different ages.
“The Philharmonic Hall is a fantastic example of an Art Deco building from the inter-war period and we have to be respectful of that.”
The Hall itself will be closed for around three months while work is carried out.
The appointment of Caruso St John was made possible after Liverpool Philharmonic’s successful application to Arts Council England (ACE) which secured £634,000 funding and follows an international competitive tendering process.
The organisation is now building towards a further major application to ACE as well as seeking additional support from private and public sources in 2012 and 2013 with plans to complete all of the works to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall by 2015 in time for the organisation’s 175th anniversary season.
Michael Eakin, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, said: “Caruso St. John has a track record of producing world-class designs which complement and enhance iconic buildings like Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
“They share our vision for ensuring that this investment will be about building on our successes, matching the artistic excellence of our musicians and the many artists who work with us, respecting our history and ensuring a strong future for both the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and our home.”