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Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment

In November last year, Sutherland Shire Council invited Australian architecture firms to submit plans for the refurbishment of Sydney's Sutherland Entertainment Centre. Designs by Cox Architecture, FJMT and collaborative team Chrofi + NBRS Architecture have been shortlisted for the $21.8 million project. The five-year development process will take the 1970s building from concept to completion by August 2023.

“It’s a significant project so we’ll be taking a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable approach to development and will be providing an opportunity for the community to offer their feedback on the design concepts in 2019.”

- Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce

THE DETAILS:

Cox Architecture

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
Cox Architecture's concept design. Credit: Cox Architecture

The idea behind Cox Architecture’s proposal is to revitalise the public domain, creating a destination to inspire lifelong participation in the performing arts. Cox Architecture plans to utilise the pre-existing gum tree on site to create a central meeting point in the foyer of the complex. The outdoor area will feature landscaped terraces, high stud awnings and a street level café. The planned seating of the auditorium endeavours to create an intimate connection between the audience and performers.

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
Atrium render. Credit Cox Architecture

“The material palette reveals the textural richness of the shire’s unique landscapes and celebrate place. Textures and colour have been selected to reflect the shire’s natural beauty and in particular the welcome tree. The interior palette is accented with playful yet robust finishes, capable of dealing with the wear and tear of public life.” 

- Cox Architecture

Similar projects include: Rooty Hill Performing Arts Centre, Cairns Performing Arts Centre

FJMT

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
FJMT concept design. Credit: FJMT
Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
FJMT concept design by night. Credit: FJMT

FJMT's proposal has encapsulated the theatrical aspects of what happens within the centre by creating a dazzling, grand foyer. The foyer has been designed to inspire excitement of guests from the moment they enter the centre. 

Changes to the fixed raked stall seating will include under-seat low-velocity air jets for optimum audience comfort, the balconies will be pulled back to increase the sidelines and the box seating will be drawn closer to the stage to encourage a more intimate environment. 

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
FJMT's auditorium concept design. Credit: FJMT
Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
FJMT plans. Credit: FJMT

 

FJMT’s similar projects include: Concourse in Chatswood and Bunjil Place.

“What we want to do in a very modern way is to create an organic, sophisticated and close connection to nature through the architecture. The theatrical nature of this project, the sense of performance, of event and celebration – we want these buildings to sparkle to reflect the performance and the events that happen within them.”

- Richard Francis Jones, FJMT design director

Chrofi and NBRS Architecture

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
Chrofi and NBRS Architecture's exterior design Credit: Chrofi and NBRS Architecture

Chrofi and NBRS Architecture have designed a space which directly integrates Peace Park. A veranda will connect the park and the building, providing a social space with a seamless indoor-outdoor flow, and provide an at-grade connection between Merton and Eton Streets. The design team also plan to utilise an existing black box theatre space and administration building to create a new bar/café and foyer on the Ground Floor, and a multi-purpose community centre and rehearsal space on Level 2. The auditorium will also be reconstructed to feature more immersive tiered seating, and the acoustics, accessibility and functionality of the space will be enhanced. 

“This relationship can be one where the entertainment and what goes on within begins to feel like it is much more a part of the park, and [simultaneously] the park should also feel that it is an extension of the building.” 

- Andrew Lamond, senior associate of Chrofi

“The entertainment centre will have a new, active, versatile foyer space with the capacity in its own right to be the venue for a variety of public occasions. At times, it would be the place for audiences to gather before, during and after performances. At others [times], it would be itself the venue for smaller informal shoes, large banquets, exhibitions or speaker tours.”

- Andrew Tripet, principal of NBRS Architecture

Three designs shortlisted for Sutherland Entertainment Centre's refurbishment
Chrofi and NBRS Architecture's foyer design. Credit: Chrofi and NBRS Architecture

​​​​​​​In addition to Sutherland Entertainment Centre, the 1920s Memorial School of Arts of Sutherland will also undertake a refurbishment. During this time Engadine Community Centre will be readily available for performance use while the other two premises are out of action.

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