Team announced for Canberra Theatre Centre transformation


A consortium comprising Australian architecture and design firm Architectus, international studio Henning Larsen and global consultant Arup has been chosen to transform the Canberra Theatre Centre into a multi-event, all-inclusive space. The centre is to be the anchor project, developed in consultation with First Nations peoples, for Canberra’s Civic and Cultural District.

The design vision for the Canberra Theatre Centre is an environment that reflects and represents diverse cultures and voices; an internationally recognised cultural precinct with impeccable design credentials that serves as a new community meeting place for Canberrans, and a home for artists from across the globe.

The winning tender included early preliminary designs that depict a new theatre building with a bold façade treatment, and with references to the formal landmarks of Canberra.

Architectus principal and public sector leader, Dr Stephen Long, said, “Our collective is thrilled to be working alongside the ACT Government to deliver a world-class experience that has the potential to fuel the creative spirit of Canberra.

“We will approach the design process through the lens of the audience and the performers. We will continue to work from the inside out to create a national theatre with an international reputation. We will also work from the outside-in to create a theatre that is enmeshed in the city and landscape, one that holds its place in the context of Canberra’s ensemble of national culture and arts buildings and brings vibrancy to the Canberra Civic and Cultural District. We seek to create a project that is an exemplar of elegance, function and sustainability.”

The early concept design for the Canberra Theatre Centre theatre interior. Rendering: Aesthetica

Henning Larsen partner and design director, Viggo Haremst said, “We are honoured to have been selected for the renewal of the Canberra Theatre Centre. Our design ambition is for the centre to become a national landmark and an international destination, drawing artists and audiences from around the world to Canberra’s new cultural heart. Together with Architectus and Arup, we’ve approached the design with great care considering the architecture and all other elements of design to create a vibrant and inclusive place that honours the history and beauty of the land. A cultural hub that celebrates the community, its diverse heritage and artistic expression, where people come together to share in the power of performance and storytelling.”

Arup, a world leader in theatre planning, will collaborate with Architectus and Henning Larsen to ensure the theatre has the form and function required to support the highest level of national and international touring shows.

Arup Australasian arts and culture business lead, Hannah Slater, said, “We are excited to be working in collaboration with Architectus and Henning Larsen on this landmark project that embeds dialogue and creation in the civic heart of Canberra. Our design approach will provide the opportunity for the project to knit the stories of this place into the city through establishing a transparent, connected and inviting centre. Arup provides diverse technical engineering skills and detailed theatre architecture expertise, contributing to the realisation of this ambition.”

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Izzy became editor of Auditoria magazine in 2018, having previously served as assistant editor on the title earlier in her career. She is also the editor of Business Jet Interiors International, Railway Interiors International and new launch Cruise Liner Interiors International. Over the course of a decade as a business-to-business magazine editor, Izzy has covered everything from airline catering to car safety technologies, autonomous vehicles and business aviation airports. Outside of work, Izzy loves watercolour painting, live music and travel.

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