‘Theatre Blend’ wins Furness Brick top accolade


Leading manufacturer Furness Brick has won a prestigious award, winning the Best Public Buildings category of the recent Building Awards 2017 for its work on the Chester Storyhouse, an entertainment centre offering cinema and theatre.

The award is the culmination of what has been a major project for the Cumbria-based brick company, which worked with the building’s architects to create a bespoke brick for the new structure.

Housed in a formerly redundant shell of a 1930s Odeon cinema in the centre of Chester, the Storyhouse was designed so as not to compromise the significant street presence of the former building, while being a substantial addition to the area.

“To achieve this the brick for the new building was chosen to match the colour and texture of the original ones – a challenge as the old Jacobean bricks were originally made in North Wales and no longer available,” explains Stephen Blagbrough, Furness Brick Regional Manager.


“Following a long brick matching process, a bespoke blend, created by Furness Brick Constructed using a very unusual bond pattern, was chosen as the best compliment to the original cinema building.”

The new structure comprises approx. 123,800 ‘Theatre Blend’ Furness bricks, all of which are standard bricks rather than feature bricks, creating a flow between the original building and the extension externally.


Recognising the building’s merits, the Brick Awards judging panel remarked on how the new brickwork alongside the old ‘fundamentally creates an iconic building which complements not only the surrounding architecture but also the city of Chester itself’.


Simon Erridge, Director at architects Bennetts Associates, concludes: “The brickwork plays an integral part of the exterior of the new building, just as it has always done. The bespoke option supplied by Furness brings the whole project together from the street view, enabling the new art and entertainment venue to settle straight into its surroundings.”


For more details on Furness Brick telephone 01229 462411 or visit


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BDC 299 December 2022