Sika Liquid Plastics Restores the Past at York Theatre Royal

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Sika Liquid Plastics Restores the Past at York Theatre Royal

As part of a £4.1 million re-development project at the prestigious York Theatre Royal, Briggs Amasco Leeds and Sika Liquid Plastics delivered an outstanding roof refurbishment, requiring extremely complex detailing around 31 new roof lights.

Standing in the heart of the city for 270 years, the theatre is a patchwork of many periods, from Roman to Georgian and Victorian fused with award-winning 1960s poured concrete design.

The York Conservation Trust took ownership of the building in January 2015, pledging to make huge improvements to the theatre’s facilities. Transforming the building to make it more sustainable was high on the agenda, as well as protecting its heritage. William Birch and Sons Ltd was awarded the contract for the re-development and Briggs Amasco Leeds tasked with refurbishing the flat roofs.

The area that presented the biggest challenge for Briggs Amasco was the flat roof above the atrium of the theatre, a Grade II* Listed 1967 extension to the building designed by renowned modernist architect, Patrick Gwynne. This roof was of particular concern as it had an original 50 year old asphalt covering, which had clearly come to the end of its life.

Despite the roof being only 100sq m in size, the area had an incredible 31 roof lights to replace and work around. With so many roof lights in a small space, the detailing lent itself to a liquid product, and Sika Liquid Plastics worked alongside Briggs Amasco and building surveyors, W R Dunn, to make sure the roofing solution would be in keeping with the building’s heritage, while offering a stunning new feature in the atrium roof. Sika Liquid Plastics sent a huge sample to the Trust, which included the full roof light and surround, to make sure that the client was happy with the solution.


The teamwork between Briggs Amasco, Sika Liquid Plastics and WR Dunn ensured requirements for sustainability, heritage and aesthetics were met. The refurbishment meant that the original 1967 design intention for letting light flood into the top on the atrium, welcoming people to the building, could be realised.

Guy Bowyer, Architect at York Conservation Trust said: “Sika have been excellent, they have had a positive approach from the start assisting us from initial concept stage right through to completion, we could not have asked for more. We also wanted a warranty for both the roof covering and roof lights, Sika were able to provide a 25 year warranty which is outstanding.” 

“We are delighted with the completed product, the workmanship by Briggs is of high quality and the finished appearance of the roof lights from the inside is brilliant. These will look fantastic when illuminated at night.”

The theatre is to re-open in spring 2016, with a new roof, an extended and remodelled front-of-house area, a refurbished and redecorated main auditorium and major improvements to access and environmental impact. York Theatre Royal will be a building fit for a 21st-century audience that will be sustainable and able to thrive into the future.

Decothane is available in the UK from Sika Liquid Plastics. For further information visit the website here or call the Enquiry Line on 0800 112 3826.

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