The Playhouse, Derry - Refurbishment and Expansion

Key facts

Client: Playhouse Theatre Board of Management
Value: 4m
Architect: Andrzej Blonski Architects

Services Provided

  • Project Management
  • Project Programming
  • Construction Advice
  • Project Monitoring
  • Cost Planning and Management


  • Education
  • Conservation
  • Leisure

2M Associates provided Project Management Services for the Playhouse Refurbishment and Extension. 2M Associates carried out all the functions related with Project Management including:

  • Preparation and Development of the Project Execution Plan
  • Value Management -which is applied both formally during workshops and informally during the development of the Project.
  • Risk Management- Preparation, Development and Maintenance of a Risk register
  • Reviewing and Advising on contractural arrangements or claims affecting the project
  • Monitoring and Review of Quality, Progress and Health and Safety
  • Communications, Formation of the Integrated Project Team, Meetings Schedule, Drawing Control, Programme Control, Change Order Request Control
  • Co-ordination of Design Team, Contractors and Sub-Contractors
  • Financial Management Ensuring that Budgetary Controls are enforced
  • Establish Cost Plan in conjunction with QS, support client on funding issues
  • Reccommendations to Client on Contractural and legal matters


The Playhouse in Artillery Street Derry/Londonderry is one of the busiest and most productive and dynamic Art Centres in Ireland/N Ireland with an estimated 70,000+ people using the facilities annually.

It has gained national recognition for its community based services. Artistic Director Pauline Ross was awarded MBE during 2001 for services to Art and the Community;the Playhouse was the N Ireland winner and UK finalist of BBC Restoration 2004 and was awarded the The Stage Award for Outstanding Achievement in UK Regional Theatre at the TMA theatre Awards 2004.

The buildings which are rich in Historical and Conservation merit are B1 listed. The challenge facing Blonski Architects was to overcome deficiences in the current layout such as, the lack of heart or central space within the building, the complicated circulation routes, poor box office area and shortage of rehearsal/workshop space.

Blonski have reconfigured the use of space within the existing buildings. The introduction of a minstrel's gallery in the auditorium with retractable seating and rostra storage underneath improves the character of the space while maintaining flexibility. The cafe and gallery are located on the ground floor which has the advantage of visibility of the street, the City walls and the foyer hub.

The new extension building to the rear of the site is treated as a separate block containing offices, workshops, toilets and vertical circulation, resource centre and box office. The main vertical circulation core becomes the beacon for the extension with its high level glazing and brass finish copper cladding occupying a prominent and visible position on site.