Tim Morgan is the Design Director from Cox Architecture for the Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ.
Throughout his career, Tim Morgan has attained national and international awards for his innovative designs that are culturally significant, sustainable and contribute to the landscape of a region.
We recently spoke to Tim about Cox Architecture’s involvement in the design process of the Sydney Coliseum Theatre and the inspiration behind the design. Tim Morgan is an amazing and influential architectural designer and the Sydney Coliseum Theatre is honoured to have someone of his calibre working on the project.
Where did the inspiration for the building design come from?
The inspiration for the design of the building evolved from humble beginnings being sympathetic to the existing surrounding curves. Taking this further the building envelope took on a dramatic life of its own through the functions within. The unique curvaceous form presents you with glimpses of the building exposing only snippets of what it is and what is within. The design really amplifies the anticipation of the theatrical experience, an experience that begins before you arrive.
The flowing façade metaphorically references the theatre curtain drawn across the set that will be revealed once inside. The slot windows allow patrons and public to peak in, whetting their appetites for what awaits them behind the curtain. To enhance this intrigue and curiosity ‘pop-out’ window boxes emanate the joy and excitement of the grand foyer and theatre experience.
The overall design philosophy of the building was to create a ‘Journey of Transcendence‘ from light, rigidity and exhibitionism to darkness, voyeurism and fluidity – from being viewed to viewing.
You are taken from West HQ’s main entrance and lead towards a glazed bridge – the entrance, the start of the journey commences with an augmented light spectacular. Passing over the glazed bridge, through the wavy white concrete curtain you enter the splendour of a multi levelled foyer presenting a grand serpentine staircase and large chandelier conjuring up the romance of the golden age of the theatre. It allows the audience to experience the grandeur of the foyer on numerous levels, activating the entire space – a show in itself.
The curvaceous façade lends itself to providing areas that enable different sized ‘nooks’ for different functions or gatherings. Sinuous and curvaceous walls create spaces within spaces.
The front of house area is featured with a large skylight providing filtered sun during day events and is then illuminated by a great chandelier that brings the night sky, stars and moonlight into the foyer, again adding to the theatre of the space.
The grand central bar becomes the hub of the foyer and is viewed from all levels. It can also become a performance space itself.
From light to darkness, you are welcomed into the auditorium where one is introduced to a space truly multi functional without compromising the grand experience that the theatre presents. Whether in theatre, concert or banquet the auditorium can be dressed for the event. The curvaceous form presents you to the main performance and lets you lose yourself in the spectacular.
This venue will be the biggest performing arts venue that we have designed and built, holding 2000 patrons.
It is also a building that has been created, simply as a veil or curtain wrapping a operationally functional venue that heightens the curiosity and intrigue to see what’s inside.
The foyer is innovative with the combination of flowing balconies suspended by metal rods, a large sky lit volume, the wide serpentine stair, a 4-metre-high central and a variety of different spaces and bars to allow a diversity of operation. The foyer has pushed the structural design to its limits giving the illusion of the stair and balconies floating.
The faceted, sweeping white precast concrete façade is a piece of art in itself, contrasting the expanse of vertically slated natural timber walls and dark background colour of the auditorium, readying for the curtain draw.
The curved retractable seating platforms are the first constructed in Sydney if not Australia.
Cox Architecture is one of Sydney’s largest Architectural practices and is globally renowned. Cox Architecture’s philosophy is steeped in creating solutions evolving from community, cultural and sustainable principles. The Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ is at the forefront of this ethos.
Cox Architecture is very proud of creating and bringing to fruition a project that is not just a building but a symbol of Western Sydney’s becoming of age, a city in itself, a place where people are proud to live. To be a part of conceiving a building that is a celebration of the culture and community of Western Sydney is so exciting. Cox Architecture is honoured to be involved in the creation of Sydney’s newest world class performing arts centre.