Interior Design: The Playhouse at GPAC

Jan 31, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Trevor Mein
  • Designer
  • Architect studio101 architects

The Playhouse Theatre at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) is a landmark project for the regional city of Geelong and is the first project under a proposal to redevelop the entire arts precinct.

The refurbishment of the 800-seat theatre (a much-loved cultural asset, unchanged for over 30 years) has made it a contemporary, warm and welcoming venue for performers, patrons and staff alike. The underlying concept for the design was heavily forged through the innovative use of timber and has vastly improved the spatial quality and acoustics of the theatre. Universal access requirements, seating, lighting and AV equipment were also improved and upgraded.

Inspired by the nearby Otway Ranges State Forest, the main palette for the refurbishment consists of natural timbers and luscious green fabrics. The remaining surfaces inside the theatre have been painted black to become recessive planes, allowing the timber forms to seemingly push forward and interact with the large spatial volume. This hierarchy of materiality was enhanced with the strategic use of LED timber pelmet lighting that washes and highlights the timber linings with a beautiful, even glow.

*Team* Project Architect: Peter Woolard, Graduate Architects: Richard Wiesebrock, Neville Wilson

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