Liverpool Philharmonic

Caruso St John, Liverpool, 2015


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

The exterior has been left relatively untouched 

Helene Binet     Download Original

  • The exterior has been left relatively untouched    
  • The signage in illuminated white Gill Sans    
  • New stage in the main auditorium    
  • The WCs have been painted bright red    
  • The refurbished entry lobby    
  • Refurbished first-floor bar    
  • Refurbished first-floor bar    
  • New box office    
  • Yellow ceiling in the private bar    
  • Refurbished entry lobby    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Fourth floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Section EE    
  • Section LL    
  • Bar plan    
  • Bar sections    
  • Stage Door desk    
  • Stage section    
  • West elevation    
  • North elevation    
  • East elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • Stage elevation    
  • Visualisation    
  • Visualisation    
  • External section    
  • External section    
  • Chandelier details    
  • Chandelier details    
  • Stage Door bench    

Major refurbishment of Grade II*-listed 1,790-seat venue, including improvement works to the public and front-of-house spaces and to the backstage dressing rooms and warm-up spaces. The project also includes a new building with a smaller venue.

Caruso St John has added prominent signage to the exterior, spelling out the name of the venue in illuminated white Gill Sans and covering the soffit of the entrance canopy with a reflective surface and white light bulbs.

Rich and deep colours were chosen by the architect for the more formal and historic areas of the concert hall. The entrance foyer has been rationalised with a new box office to the north and a meeting space to the south. The original light fittings and soffit lights have been retained. On the first floor, the architect has replaced two L-shaped bars with a central one, wrapped around the columns. The solid oak construction is faced with walnut panelling and topped with a Corian surface. Inside the auditorium there is a new stage with a scalloped walnut frontage and maple boards.

The lighting has been upgraded to LED strips in the folds of the roof and the heating and cooling systems have been refined. Caruso St John demolished much of the existing building, retaining the structural steel frame. Now, at the back of the stage are suites of new, acoustically isolated rehearsal rooms, a green room, dressing rooms, a large first-floor office with a roof garden and a new bar and venue.


  • Begun: Jun 2014
  • Completed: Oct 2015
  • Floor area: 6,800m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £8.5M
  • Procurement: Tradtional
  • Address: Hope St, Liverpool, L1 9BP, United Kingdom

Professional Team