Port Macquarie, one of Australia’s earliest settlements, is a town (I think its grown so much that it is considered a city now) between Sydney and Brisbane. People go there normally to chill out, a rest and to have a good surf; But now, they have a fantastic arts/entertainment centre to also give your vacation some cultural input with style.
The Glasshouse, Hastings’ Cultural Centre, comprises a 600-seat theatre, rehearsal/performance studio, conference facilities and a large regional gallery located in the centre of Port Macquarie, a rapidly-growing coastal city. The project brief was to establish the Glasshouse as the pre-eminent performance and exhibition arts facility in the region.
The design takes advantage of the Pacific Ocean views and is based on ‘openness’ and accessibility. The gallery shares the foyer space of the theatre, allowing appropriate exhibitions to fill the public spaces and, on low-visitation days, to be operated by minimal staff.
Wrapped around the sculpted form of the tall auditorium, the naturally ventilated foyers are open and glassy. The route from entry to auditorium is an exciting architectural journey through the levels of the space, overlooking parts of the gallery. The auditorium is a semi-traditional proscenium horseshoe, with a fully equipped lyric stage and fly tower. The orchestra pit is hydraulically raised and lowered to increase the flexibility of the space. All sightlines have been computer modelled, and the sound performance designed to exacting standards.
The expressive form of the exterior signals the cultural use of the Glasshouse, echoing the movements of the ocean and sky.
Team: Tim Greer, Trina Day, Regina Meyer, Roger O’Sullivan, Peter Tonkin, Kon Vourtzoumis, Bettina Siegmund, Elizabeth Muir, Paul Rolfe, John Chesterman, Tamara Frangelli, Jennifer Fetner, Alison Osborne, Ben Daly, Kon Vourtzoumis
client: Hastings Council
location: Port Macquarie, NSW
Photography: Brett Boardman and Rob Connell