- Article by Brewster Hjorth Architects
- Architect Brewster Hjorth Architects
The new ‘Forum’ in Leichhardt is the long awaited Italian cultural centre that is set to become the public face of the Australian-Italian community in Sydney. The Centre provides a new public theatre for Sydney’s inner west, and includes a large 350-seat auditorium, rehearsal rooms, galleries, bars, conference facilities and a teaching kitchen tied together in a dramatic visually stunning and essentially ‘Italian’ architectural framework. The auditorium’s seating also retracts to create a large exhibition space.
Twenty years ago, a large, semi-underground space was set aside by the developers for future use as an Italian cultural centre. This new design opens up and transforms this space into a series of exciting interconnected cultural and civic spaces arranged around the form of the free standing central auditorium.
The brief for the project was to express the style, flexibility and drama of modern Italian culture. The final design is based on a dramatic, colourful and highly sculptured response which uses high contrasts in form and colour to describe its program.