Sydney Theatre Company’s The Wharf

Over the past 30 years Sydney Theatre Company has established its reputation as one of the world’s foremost performing arts institutions, and in the process outgrown its existing facilities. 

It was time to re-invent theatre spaces to provide a broader range of experiences for artists and audiences and open up The Wharf to the public in new ways, while staying true to the building’s 100-year-old heritage and much-loved character.

The company’s founding Artistic Director, Richard Wherrett’s vision was for the two theatre spaces at The Wharf to be fully flexible - equipped with the freedom of three adjustable seating configurations and the capacity to combine the two stages and open up creative possibilities. 

Improving access was key to the upgrade. The project added new public entries via new lifts and two balcony extensions off the Theatre Bar at The End of The Wharf and Atrium, giving patrons direct access to the venue from the world famous harbourside wharf apron.

Better behind-the-scenes experience for artists has also been a key focus with state-of-the-art dressing rooms, larger and more comfortable rehearsal rooms, break out spaces, vocal coaching rooms and a recording booth. 

Client

Sydney Theatre Company

Location

Sydney, Australia.

Status

Completed

Year

2021

Design team

Glenn Scott, Julian Badman, Darren Hall, John Santoro, Sophie Bond, John Kang, Nuria Arguello, Evodia Alaterou, Laura Vallentine, Kelie Roach, Filae Gill, Ciaran Acton.

Photography

Brett Boardman

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We couldn’t be happier with the newest incarnation of Sydney Theatre Company’s headquarters and we look forward to creating new memories here for artists and audiences for decades to come.”

Patrick McIntyre, Executive Director, Sydney Theatre Company.
  • Three flexible seating configurations for both Wharf 1 and Wharf 2 theatres
  • A new Neilson Family Gallery space for education, workshops, rehearsals, functions and external venue hire
  • Extra balcony space (gantries) off the Bar and at the Atrium 
  • Acknowledging the heritage of the building, a mid-wharf Atrium now allows an east-west view in the middle of the building for the first time 
  • Improved acoustics and increased floorspace in rehearsal rooms
  • New music/​vocal rooms and a recording studio
  • Wharf 1 now has six dressing rooms and Wharf 2 has three
  • Installation of Meyer Sound Spacemap Go system, the first of its kind to be installed in a theatre in the southern hemisphere
  • Separate wig room and private green room
  • Raised workshop ceiling height to allow for larger set construction 
  • 900 new 390W Solar KuMax solar panels installed 
  • A 100,000-litre rainwater harvesting system to capture up to 80% of rainwater 
  • Energy saving LED lighting fitted throughout Administrative offices
  • New BOH corridor which allows greater operational efficiency moving sets from workshop into rehearsal and theatre spaces
  • Larger kitchen and more storage space for The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf
  • Health and safety improved through better ventilation systems 
  • New ramp for access to the balcony from The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf
  • More than double the number of toilets and accessible toilets
  • Two new accessible public entries via lifts
  • Assistive listening systems have been upgraded and extended to include rehearsal rooms 

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