Endorsed by

Sydney Theatre Company to undergo $60m redevelopment

Sydney Theatre Company (STC) has unveiled designs for a $60 million redevelopment by Hassell, after receiving a $30-million funding windfall from the NSW government.

The 1984 adaptation of the original timber cargo wharf buildings for Sydney Theatre Company by Vivian Fraser in association with the NSW Government Architect.

The 1984 adaptation of the original timber cargo wharf buildings for Sydney Theatre Company by Vivian Fraser in association with the NSW Government Architect.

Image: Max Dupain

The redevelopment will be the first significant upgrade for Sydney Theatre Company in more than 30 years since it moved to its home in the Walsh Bay Wharves precinct in 1984. The Wharf Theatre at Pier 4/5 was originally adapted from a turn-of-the-century timber cargo wharf building by architect Vivian Fraser in association with the NSW Government Architect (J. Thomson). In 1985, the project was the jointly awarded the Sulman Medal, the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest accolade for public architecture – along with Glenn Murcutt’s Zachary Restaurant. It also received the 25 Year Award for Enduring Architecture in 2008.

The redevelopment will modernize the theatre spaces in the Wharf 1 and 2 building with flexible seating, in accordance with the original vision of Sydney Theatre Company’s first artistic director Richard Wherrett. The upgrades will enhance the theatre watching experience. “More flexible theatre spaces will allow STC’s work to more easily transfer to other venues, and to reach broader audiences,” said STC in a statement on its website. “We anticipate the Wharf Renewal Project will afford STC an increased ability to tour work internationally, nationally and regionally.”

Additional works will include new foyer spaces, rest rooms, upgraded administrative offices, two new accessible public entrances and a more welcoming entry point on Hickson Road. The ceiling in the workshop will also be raised to allow the company to build larger theatre sets.

The ceiling of the Sydney Theatre Company's workshop will be lifted to allow the company to build larger sets.

The ceiling of the Sydney Theatre Company’s workshop will be lifted to allow the company to build larger sets.

The redevelopment project is part of $139-million project to redevelop the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct. In April 2016, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was appointed to design the project, which included upgraded spaces for the Australian Theatre for Young People, Bangarra Dance Company, a new 450-seat auditorium for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and a new waterfront square between two piers.

The NSW arts minister Don Harwin announced a total of $68 million additional funding for the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct transformation, of which $30 million will be allocated to Sydney Theatre Company and the remaining funding for the rest of the precinct.

Sydney Theatre Company will match the government funding dollar for dollar in private donations for its redevelopment project.

The design of the precinct will be adapted to include the Sydney Theatre Company project.

The facilities will be closed for renovations in 2018 and is expect to reopen in 2019.

The project team includes Hassell (architect), Tropman and Tropman Architects (heritage architect), Charcoalblue (theatre consultant), Arup (building services, fire engineering, sustainable design), Taylor Thomson Whitting (engineer) and MBM (quantity surveyor).

Related topics

More news

See all
Waverley Woollen Mills, Australia’s oldest working textile mill. Open House Launceston to offer up a ‘feast for the senses’

Some 34 building will be on show at Open House Launceston, happening on Saturday 7 September as part of the Junction Arts Festival.

The refurbished Sydney Opera House concert hall. Contracts awarded for Sydney Opera House concert hall renewal

The Sydney Opera House has announced that it has awarded two contracts for the renewal of the iconic building’s concert hall – part of the …

Marrickville Library and Pavilion by BVN. BVN completes new Marrickville Library and Pavilion

BVN has completed a new library and community hub in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville that features a soaring interior and a folding roof canopy.

Science Gallery Melbourne by Smart Design Studio. Smart Design Studio unveils science gallery design shaped by ‘hidden forces of nature’

Smart Design Studio has unveiled initial designs for the interior of a proposed museum dedicated to the sciences in Melbourne.

Most read

Latest on site

Calendar