Everyman Theatre has become a new landmark in the city of Liverpool with its eye-catching facade. The theater’s life-size portrait wall on Hope Street represents a masterpiece of digital photography. The golden-tinted frontage was the brainchild of architect Steve Tompkins- from Haworth Tompkins theater designers. Tompkins’ idea was to create 1:1 images of people that complement each other and welcome everybody into the theatre.
Liverpool photographer Dan Kenyon took thousands of portrait pictures for hundreds of people from Liverpool, Cheshire, North Wales, and Warrington. Then he narrowed down the number of photographs to a 105 to be carved onto the shutters of the new frontage. Children, youth, pregnant ladies, grandparents, and handicapped people all stood in front of Dan Kenyon’s camera.
The Everyman Theatre’s portrait wall, which may outlive many of its human models, is now becoming a monument for generations of their families to witness.
The new 3-storey high façade, which cost the theater £27m, was created using a novel water-jet technique. The new method involved creating vertical cuts into Aluminum sheets that would constitute the new window shutters.
The carving process also caused the metal sheets to have different reflectivities and textures so as to show intricate details. The dimensions of each Aluminum panel are 1.9 m in height and 80 cm in width.
The staff members of the Everyman Theatre are huge fans of the shutters which, apart from circulating air, create interesting shadows inside the building. They cast shadows on the floor, stairwell, and in many other places that one wouldn’t expect. The employees can easily handle the shutters manually to allow the required amount of daylight to pass through.
The photographs were also handy when the architectural team needed to put warning signs on the theater’s interior glass walls. Simple dots or signs weren’t satisfactory or artistic enough, hence the idea of using stickered-images emerged. White little picture-silhouettes were stuck on the glass to caution people not to walk into the wall and injure themselves.
Here, watch this video, by Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, that tells the story of how such innovative idea came to be.
That intriguing new installation does not only induce happiness in the area but also adds up to the collective meaning of humanity.