The King's Manor, York: The Philip Rahtz Lecture Theatre

Client: The University of York (Estates Department)

Holland Brown Architects were asked to prepare a feasibility study for the conversion and refurbishment of Room K133 in the King's Manor to increase the capacity and upgrade the quality of the facility which was last improved in the 1970's. The practice provided architectural and interior design services whilst negotiating the required Listed Building consents and permissions with the City of York Council and English Heritage.

For over thirty years K133 has served as one of the principal lecture rooms and teaching spaces within the King's Manor - the University of York's base for archaeological and historic studies. The room, part of the Grade 1 building group, was beginning to appear tired and had rather out of date sound and projection facilities.

The work recommended in our study consisted mainly of the removal of a mezzanine floor inserted in the 1970's, the insertion of tiered audience seating for a much improved aspect, new ceilings, new integrated lighting and complete redecoration. Floors were reinforced and the wholesale renewal of Audio Visual equipment including scene setting facilities was installed. Seating incorporating fixed benching and tables with space for disabled students and staff to the front was also introduced. A limited range of colours were utilized to produce a fresh but calm interior. As a result, the space has an overall bright, fresh appearance, whilst still retaining the original distinctive Victorian school room character. The bold interventions will now allow the room to function as a contemporary teaching space well into the 21st Century.

Architecture | Creative Conservation | Heritage

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