The Majestic Theatre was built in 1921 by architects Kaberry and Chard as a substantial brick building with a strongly worked, rendered façade to New Canterbury Road. It is suspected that the original building housed vaudeville productions, as there was modest stage area, and very small back of house.
The quality of the architectural fabric, and its strong urban presence saw the building retained and transformed for new uses when the theatre ceased operation. This led to a series of modifications and new uses over time.
In 1947 the building was purchased by Greater Union and renamed the Odeon Theatre. In 1953 it was internally modified for use as a cinema by architect Guy Crick, a well-known cinema specialist in the interwar period. In 1979 it became a much-loved inner urban icon, the Majestic Roller Rink. Up until its recent closure, the building accommodated a local social club.
Insurance and liability pressures saw a number of proposals for public uses aborted. As such, the possibility of transforming the Majestic into residential apartments was considered.
The new works retain the existing building volume, roof profile and perimeter walls, but the interiors have been altered to allow for the insertion of ground floor commercial/retail uses including street fronting café and three levels of residential apartments above. All the insertions are set out in relation to the structural bays and major elements of the original building.
In total, 27 units are inserted within the original volume comprising a mix of one and one and a half bedroom apartments. Each end of the building is quirkily adapted into a series of highly individual apartments occupy the nooks and crannies of old projection rooms and back of house elements of the original building.
Within the central volume of the theatre, effectively a new building is inserted that houses a diversity of apartments. A series of single floor units front a laneway with a rich and varied inner urban outlook. To the side boundary a series of double height apartments are inserted with tall atrium spaces that provide light and air. Within the old roof space a series of double height apartments with loft bedrooms feature the original timber and iron roof trusses that were exposed during construction.
Separating each end from the new central block, two of the original structural bays are retained as full height volumes with generous voids. These give the sense of the original scale of the interior volume, hold the residential circulation and offer further opportunities to draw sunlight and ventilation into the volume.
An original exit stair was also partially retained and integrated as a dramatic feature of the main residential entry.
7 users love this project