In­sight into new the­atre

The Waikato re­gion is on track for a trans­for­ma­tional project — a Waikato Re­gional The­atre that will link a multi-func­tional per­form­ing space with the river and sit at the heart of a cul­tural precinct.

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

The de­sign of the new Waikato Re­gional The­atre pro­poses an 1100-seat lyric the­atre (opera house), shared pub­lic spa­ces and a pub­lic art gallery, to be lo­cated at the old Hamil­ton Ho­tel site on Vic­to­ria St.

It’s in­tended to re­place Founders The­atre — closed for safety rea­sons in March 2016 — and pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to use the best ap­proaches in mod­ern, multi-func­tional spa­ces.

The con­cept de­sign links the pro­posed new the­atre very strongly with the river and has a multi-pur­pose the­atre, able to hold in­ti­mate, small-scale works with spo­ken words through to youth kapa haka per­for­mances and full or­ches­tral and bal­let per­for­mances.

It is planned to co-ex­ist with a pro­posed sep­a­rate, pri­vately de­vel­oped life­style art ho­tel, pub­lic art gallery and re­tail space, which will pro­vide shared spa­ces for meet­ings, con­fer­ences and events.

The build­ing is de­signed to be at the cen­tre of an arts precinct, with other arts-re­lated in­dus­try de­vel­op­ing nearby, in­clud­ing restaurants and bars as well as art and craft galleries and other busi­nesses. It aims to of­fer ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties to a new gen­er­a­tion and will at­tract national and in­ter­na­tional pro­duc­tions to the city. In­ter­na­tional the­atre con­sul­tancy firm Char­coal­blue has a rep­u­ta­tion for build­ing and re­new­ing the­atres that re­vi­talise cities and re­gions. It’s an award-win­ning firm with of­fices in the UK, USA and Aus­tralia and has worked on many lead­ing in­ter­na­tional projects in­clud­ing the Young Vic The­atre, Royal Shake­speare The­atre and National The­atre, Lon­don.

The con­sul­tants have spent the past few months meet­ing with user groups and stake­hold­ers to dis­cover what is needed in the new the­atre. Char­coal­blue has cre­ated ini­tial con­cept de­signs for the new the­atre and is now un­der­tak­ing fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion with users for the next stage of de­sign. It’s hoped the new the­atre could be open by 2021.

Im­age / Jas­max.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the new Waikato Re­gional The­atre could look like from the river. Full de­signs are still to be done.

Im­age / Jas­max

An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the in­te­rior spa­ces of the new Waikato Re­gional The­atre build­ing could look like and how they would con­nect to the river.

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