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Henning Larsen designs the Canberra Theatre Centre

Architectus, Henning Larsen and Arup announced as the consortium to transform the Canberra Theatre Centre

henning larsen
Image Courtesy of Henning Larsen

The Australian architecture and design firm Architectus, the international studio Henning Larsen, and the global consulting firm Arup have been selected as the winning consortium to transform the Canberra Theatre Centre into a vibrant, multi-event, all-inclusive space. This transformation will take place in consultation with the people of First Nations and will serve as the anchor project for the future transformation of Canberra’s Civic and Cultural District into an internationally recognized arts precinct.

In the center of the envisioned Canberra Civic and Cultural District, the group of design industry professionals will establish a destination of the highest caliber for artists and audiences.

The Canberra Theatre Centre’s architectural goal is to provide a space that symbolizes and reflects many cultures and viewpoints. a globally renowned cultural precinct with outstanding design credentials that acts as a new center of community interaction for Canberrans and as a residence for artists from all over the world.

Image Courtesy of Henning Larsen

Early conceptual drawings for a new theater building with an ornate façade treatment and references to Canberra’s formal landmarks were included in the winning tender.

Architectus Principal and Public Sector Leader, Dr Stephen Long said:

“Our collective is thrilled to be working alongside the ACT Government to deliver a world-class experience that has the potential to fuel the creative spirit of Canberra.

“We will approach the design process through the lense of the audience and the performers. We will continue to work from the inside out to create a National theatre with an international reputation. We will also work from the outside-in to create a theatre that is enmeshed in the city and landscape, one that holds its place in the context of Canberra’s ensemble of National culture and arts buildings and brings vibrancy to the Canberra Civic and Cultural District. We seek to create a project that is an exemplar of elegance, function and sustainability.”

Henning Larsen Partner and Design Director, Viggo Haremst said:

“We are honoured to have been selected for the renewal of the Canberra Theatre Centre. Our design ambition is for the centre to become a national landmark and an international destination, drawing artists and audiences from around the world to Canberra’s new cultural heart.

“Together with Architectus and Arup, we’ve approached the design with great care considering the architecture and all other elements of design to create a vibrant and inclusive place that honours the history and beauty of the land. A cultural hub that celebrates the community, its diverse heritage and artistic expression, where people come together to share in the power of performance and storytelling.”

Arup, a world leader in theatre planning, will collaborate with Architectus and Henning Larsen to ensure the theatre has the form and function required to support the highest level of national and international touring shows.

Image Courtesy of Henning Larsen

Arup Australasian Arts & Culture Business Lead, Hannah Slater said:

“We are excited to be working in collaboration with Architectus and Henning Larsen on this landmark project that embeds dialogue and creation in the civic heart of Canberra.

“Our design approach will provide the opportunity for the project to knit the stories of this place into the city through establishing a transparent, connected and inviting Centre. Arup provides diverse technical engineering skills and detailed Theatre Architecture expertise, contributing to the realisation of this ambition.”

The team has a long history of producing cultural projects of international significance, such as the recently completed Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney Modern Building by Architectus and Arup and the multi-award winning Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland by Henning Larsen and Arup. Additionally, Architectus and Henning Larsen collaborate on a number of prestigious commercial projects in Sydney and Brisbane.

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