This proposed new entertainment venue sits on the edge of Marine Lake in the seaside town of Southport in northwestern England. It will help the town revitalise its waterfront and scenic 22 miles of coastline.
The current site is home to the iconic 1930s Floral Hall, a famous ballroom and a connected theatre added in 1973. The original flat-roofed brick building has a narrow footprint and few amenities. The new venue will replace the current Southport Theatre and Convention Centre and become a year-round destination on the edge of Marine Lake.
HOK’s design honors the site’s past, present and future with a blend of both Art Deco-inspired and modern details. The city-facing side has a clean, ordered facade and geometric extrusions that communicate its place as a civic structure. On the back side, the transparent design interacts with the waterfront.
Throughout the building, floor-to-ceiling glass windows connect visitors to the Irish Sea. Timber columns and detailing create a warm feeling. An undulating turquoise tin roof is a nod to the water.
The design transforms the waterfront from a quiet promenade into a bustling jetty with stores, restaurants, bars, a theatre and convention centre. A new pier off the promenade will house an interactive water and LED light show. The 1,200-seat theatre and connected convention and exhibition spaces can be used simultaneously.
The lower level houses the exhibition space and waterfront amenities including a café. In between, a light-filled lobby creates an urban, seaside living room. It has amphitheatre-style seating for informal gatherings.
Sustainable design strategies include a high-performance building envelope, district heating, an ambient loop system, rooftop solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, an air source heat pump and a water source heat pump. There also are strategies for rainwater capture and reuse.