Sydney Coliseum Theatre

Sydney / Australia / 2019

29
29 Love 775 Visits Published

The brief was to design a 2,000 seat theatre that could host musical, concerts, plays, ballets and symphony orchestras, promote community engagement and showcase Western Sydney as a cultural hub. From the fluid façade to the undulating and layered atrium and theatre, the act of performance – from dance to sound – played a significant part in informing our design.
The curved volume of the theatre is mirrored in the façade. An exemplary project in exhibiting the rigour of designing from the inside and out. A rhythmic pattern of ribbon windows carved into deep reveals veils the mundane surrounds, minimises solar gain and filters dramatic dancing light across the honed floor.
A generous sweeping stair connects the multi-layered atrium, carving out multiple vantage points to peacock and take in the charged atmosphere before the quiet calm of curtains up. The dramatic interplay between layered mezzanines and sweeping staircases creates a symphonic quality to the interior, imbuing the heart and soul of performance into every inch of its built form.
The design confidently rejects superfluous decoration and employs a purposely restrained use of three primary materials; timber, terrazzo and plaster. The considered palette heightens the transcendent journey into the theatre stirring souls in amplified expectancy towards what lies within. Dramatically shifting from an ivory lined façade and dove grey terrazzo floors, deepening to a fluid ribbon of timber enveloping the central volume into an inky dark performance space that focusses all attention on center stage.
A chandelier within the atrium provides a focal point and sense of grandeur. Designed in collaboration with Yellow Goat, the crystal appears to be suspended in animation to embody a special moment like the crescendo of a symphony.
Acoustics were incredibly challenging given the diversity of performance and the expectation from the client that the venue would operate at a world class level. Alongside the functional diversity the space atmospherically required a chameleon quality to appeal to a broad spectrum of users from opera to rock enthusiasts. The space need to host cultural connoisseurs accustomed to the Sydney Opera House and venues of that ilk, but also create a welcoming and comfortable place to encourage cultural engagement to the uninitiated.


Throughout the design process we made use of software tools to allow real time acoustic analysis of the auditorium whilst the shape and orientation of room surfaces were manipulated in Rhino. This allowed us t make the best acoustic use of all surfaces whist working around the constraints of other spatial demands (e.g. mechanical plant, theatre equipment and aesthetic preferences).


Design is at it’s most powerful when it creates positive change. This project transcends fashion, finishes and form. It delivers beauty but more importantly provides a cultural heart to unite a steadily growing community. This venue is for one and all. The honest and unpretentious materiality is chameleon – like in its ability to suit everyone and every performance.


Key stats of the project include:
- 2000 seats + 1300 retractable seating
- 8000m2 in size
- 3 foyers
- 7 bars
- Chandelier made up of 241 strands of thousands of crystals


“The façade delivers an imposingly majestic arrival for visitors, hinting at the thrilling performance which await inside. Interior foyers are welcoming and calm, with unique Crystal Bridge entry, timeless natural finishes and magnificent ‘chandelier atrium’.” Executive Director, Sydney Coliseum, Craig McMaster
The Sydney Coliseum Theatre certainly delivers beauty but more importantly provides a cultural heart to enrich and unite a steadily growing community.

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    The brief was to design a 2,000 seat theatre that could host musical, concerts, plays, ballets and symphony orchestras, promote community engagement and showcase Western Sydney as a cultural hub. From the fluid façade to the undulating and layered atrium and theatre, the act of performance – from dance to sound – played a significant part in informing our design. The curved volume of the theatre is mirrored in the façade. An exemplary project in exhibiting the rigour...

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Work finished in 2019
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Theatres
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