This is one of those buildings that becomes a work of art at night with all the lights going in all directions. It’s very clever having the circulation spaces next to the street with large windows, showing all the buzz and activity happening inside when there is an event – bringing all its internal life to the outside.
The recital halls are also great as they are so full of details and textures that it makes you look at the entire space, including the ceiling, which let’s face it, you don’t normally do. Fantastic.
From the Architects: The site of the Melbourne Theatre Company and Melbourne Recital Centre is the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct. The addition of two striking facilities on Southbank Boulevard fills the long term gap in the performing arts accommodation in Victoria for contemporary theatre and acoustic music. Their presence creates a bridge between the Victorian Arts Centre, the NGV and Federation Square on the river and the Malthouse and ACCA to the south on Sturt Street, finally integrating Melbourne’s premier arts precinct.
The new home for the MTC is a 500 seat drama theatre, equipped with the latest theatre technology and full back stage facilities designed to provide the highest level of amenity for the players and crew. The Sumner Theatre is a single rake house without balcony, providing the very best sight lines to the stage. The stage, fly and wing configuration make this one of the best drama facilities in the world. In addition, there is the Lawler Studio; a full rehearsal hall, capable of being used for functions and small performances seating up to 150 patrons. At front of house are Script bistro, patron lounges and bars.
Viewed at night the exterior of the building is a mesmerizing matrix of glowing tubes, hovering around the black box of the building, reminiscent of the tubing on the Arts Centre spire, but more graphic, like an illusionistic painting, blurring two dimensional and three dimensional perception. Our design direction has been to draw on the shared traditions of spatial ambiguity that are imbedded in the histories of both architecture and the theatre. The building inside is energetic, with the texture and reminiscences of the history of those who have been a part of the MTC.
Architect: Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM)
Ashton Raggatt McDougall http://www.a-r-m.com.au/
projects.htmlClient: Major Projects Victoria/The University of Melbourne/Melbourne Theatre Company
Construction Value: $52.5M
Awards: AIA (National) Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture, AIA (Vic Chapter) Victorian Architecture Medal William Wardell Award for Public Architecture Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design
Photgraphy: Architects and Benjamin DJ Couldrey