RIBA Regional Awards 2014: East
St George's Chapel
Hopkins Architects for Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Built in 1714 but deconsecrated in 1959 and redundant since 1971, St George’s Chapel, with its fine timber roof, nevertheless remained one of historic Great Yarmouth centrepieces. Latterly used as a theatre, it is arguably one of the finest examples of English baroque church architecture outside London. As part of the regeneration of the old town, Hopkins Architects was brought in to update the venue. Cue some painstakingly sensitive treatment of the existing structure to give it the acoustic, lighting and technological performance necessary for modern productions.
Not only that, but to help with the upgrading of the public realm, the firm created the theatre’s new ticket office and café in an adjacent pavilion building, bringing life to the urban square. Deceptively simple in design, the pavilion references the chapel in both form and materiality, with the kind of crisp and minimal detailing upon which the practice has built its reputation.