Architect for Theatre Royal & Heritage Facility Appointed

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Published: 31 Aug 2020

Timaru District Council has appointed the architect for one of its key CBD regeneration projects.

Architectus has been appointed as lead architect for redevelopment of the Theatre Royal and creation of the new Heritage Facility on South Stafford Street, with theatre and acoustics specialists Marshall Day and heritage specialists Dave Pearson Architects forming part of the team.

The three partners have extensive experience on major high-profile projects including Tūranga, the new Christchurch Central Library; the successful redevelopment of the Oamaru and Hawke’s Bay Opera Houses; and the new Ngaio Marsh Theatre at the University of Canterbury, and have specific experience in blending new spaces with heritage architecture.

Donna Cross, Council Group Manager Commercial and Strategy, said that the consortium brings the mix of skills required to handle the dual tasks of bringing the Theatre back to life and introducing a significant new building into the existing streetscape.

“The tender saw a range of incredibly strong proposals for the project which met our requirements for the project, but a key part of this submission that stood out was the commitment to stakeholder and community engagement and delivery of spaces that really meet the needs of the community.

“This is one of the first major developments the CBD has seen in many years and it aimed at creating flexible, fit-for-future spaces that build on the success of both the theatre and the museum and help attract people to come into town.

“While it may seem that this project has been a long time in coming, it was important to make sure we had all the planning and foundational work in place.

“It’s great that we’re now at the part of the project where the community will begin to see the project is going and help shape what will be an amazing asset for Timaru District and the wider region.”

Carsten Auer, Principal at Architectus said: “The Theatre Royal and Heritage Facility offers an incredible opportunity to create a revitalised, welcoming and enticing cultural hub for Timaru, offering connections to local physical and cultural context, local industry and the wider region. It has the potential to attract more touring productions and exhibitions and act as a tourist magnet to the region as a whole.

“As Architects, our role will be to communicate, provide information, listen and respond to concerns, and ultimately obtain public buy-in and advocacy for the project. We successfully did this on the new Christchurch Library, Tūranga, where we engaged with over 30 community-based stakeholders.

“We also integrated the response to CCC’s public engagement campaign “Your Library, Your Voice” which generated over 2,400 ideas from Christchurch residents about the kind of library they wanted and the services it should provide.”

The Theatre Royal and Heritage facility project is being managed for Timaru District Council by Rubix.

The project tender evaluation team are now reviewing proposals from an open tender for a Structural consultant (including structural, civil and geotechnical) and a Services consultant (including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and fire) to join Architectus, forming the core design team for the project.

The $23.8M project is forecast for completion in the second half of 2023.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021