Storyhouse Chester

Technology sets the stage for a unique cultural centre, welcoming over 1 million visitors and 150 community groups since reopening

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Location


Chester, UK

Overview


Following its closure in 2007, Chester’s 1930’s Odeon Cinema remained derelict until 2015, when the Local council saw the opportunity to revive the local arts community. Together with local arts charities, the council embarked on the city’s largest development project for 50 years, to create a unique, socially inclusive arts complex where theatre, film, music and literature converge.

Highlights


• Creation of a common infrastructure that supports back of house operations and the public needs across the 22,965 square-foot site

• Part Grade-II listed building is now a technology rich, future proof space

• Comprehensive IT and AV design, built into packages allowed for each component to be procured and deployed by the Project Team

Awards


• RIBA National Award

“Bound by a shared vision of shared collaborative infrastructure, IT and AV solutions help set the stage, allowing the building to perform for a twenty-first-century audience.”

Summary


Carefully designed to be as inclusive and as open as possible, the Storyhouse provides Chester with a vital platform that brings the community, local talent and theatre groups together regardless of age, socio-economic background and time of the day.

Chester’s most significant project for 50 years, the Storyhouse, brings together a multitude of stakeholders, from local arts charities to the local council. Bound by a shared vision of shared collaborative infrastructure, IT and AV solutions help set the stage, allowing the building to perform for a twenty-first-century audience.

Innovative designs took into consideration the challenges posed by the part-Grade II-listed building, strategically placing comms rooms to provide fast-efficient services. Network solutions deployed over the Wi-Fi fully cover the 7000 meter-squared site. With the late-opening library sprawling through restaurants and cafes, connectivity provides a seamless experience throughout the space.

The restoration of the 1930s Odeon Cinema creates a socially inclusive and multi-functional space that provides access to the arts, essential online council services as well as a space to socialise across an open environment. Since opening in 2018, Storyhouse has welcomed over 1 million visitors and 150 community groups from infants, refugees and coders, to coffee drinkers and students. The arts centre has proved itself as a valuable, essential collaborative space for the city and its communities while highlighting the diverse nature of end-users for which the building and its design cleverly caters.

Shortly after HRH the Queen and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex officially opened the site, RIBA awarded the project with a National Award, recognising it as one of the UK’s best new buildings.

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