Cox Architecture to design revamp of Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre

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The existing Her Majesty's Theatre in Adelaide.

The existing Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The South Australian government has appointed Cox Architecture to design a $35-million upgrade of Adelaide’s historic Her Majesty’s Theatre.

The project will include the expansion of the venue onto the adjoining property to the west, which will allow for new foyers, bars, patron facilities and disability access.

The theatre’s seating capacity will be increased from 970 seats to 1,500 seats, including additional balcony seating. The redevelopment also includes upgrades to the orchestra pit, technical facilities and back-of-house areas.

Her Majesty’s Theatre, originally known as the Tivoli Theatre, was designed by David Williams and Charles Good. When it opened in 1913, it was described as “the most luxuriously appointed theatre in Australasia.”

Cox Architecture was appointed to lead the redevelopment following a tender process in which 35 practices were invited to participate.

“Her Majesty’s is an important part of South Australia’s history, and together with our project partners, we aim to create an iconic and contemporary venue that will greatly enhance the cultural and public offering for Adelaide,” said Cox Architecture state manager Adam Hannon.

The expansion will allow the theatre to stage larger productions for longer runs, including major national and international touring events such as musicals, some of which are currently unable to be performed in Adelaide due to a lack of venue. The SA government says the extra capacity could result in up to 100 additional performances each year.

“This project will be transformational for the performing arts in South Australia,” said Douglas Gautier, CEO and artistic director of Adelaide Festival Centre, which operates the theatre.

Concept designs are now underway and construction is expected to begin in early 2018. The redevelopment is expected to be completed in 2019.

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