Setting a new standard for musical theatre, not just in Sydney but in the Southern Hemisphere

The Sydney Coliseum Theatre is part of the ongoing transformation of the Greater Western Sydney region. Constructed as an extension of West HQ’s existing entertainment precinct, the building features a multi mode auditorium along with three foyers, seven bars, multiple entertaining areas, a VIP room, a large rehearsal room and an onsite commercial kitchen.

With an industry leading immersive sound system and entirely LED based lighting rigs, the theatre sets a new standard for musical theatre, not just in Sydney but in the Southern Hemisphere.

The flexible venue can accommodate 2,000 people as a conventional lyric theatre; 600 people for a banquet; or 2,200 people for a concert. The venue is able to change between modes within an hour thanks to a top of the line retractable seating system, specially designed and manufactured in Belgium.

The new venue integrates seamlessly into the existing West HQ facilities via a glass link bridge, which provides patrons the only public access to the theatre. The theatre was delivered in December 2019 and opened with a line-up of impressive international and local acts performing sold out shows.

Constructed by Hansen Yuncken, the project employed a range of innovative construction techniques to ensure a timely and safe delivery. The uniquely designed, segmented building facade created a complex construction sequence. “The use of technology assisted in understanding the building’s form and how we could best achieve the design intent. We used Building Information Modelling (BIM) processes and Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) technologies, such as 4D programming, 5D cost management, UAV reality capture, digital setouts, to name a few,” said Vanja Krumpacnik, Hansen Yuncken Project Manager.

Due to the complex form of the building, creative solutions were required to ensure efficient and safe construction. The whole installation sequence was carefully planned, with safety the number one priority. “The way we installed elements of the project wasn’t conventional,” said Vanja. “An unusually shaped building brings unusual construction methodologies. We focused on reducing the risks of the project, taking into consideration working from height, movement of plant, material handling and program risks.”

Collaboration across the entire project team was essential in the safe and timely delivery of the project. “We worked closely with the consultants and our team of subcontractors and suppliers from the outset of the project. We carefully reviewed, adjusted and finetuned our methodology to make sure we were building in the safest and most streamlined way possible.”

"For example, a lot of temporary engineering went into the build, such as a temporary bridge across the basement that we could situate cranes on.  We also redesigned two services risers to a modular solution that was prefabricated offsite with integrated ductwork and pipework,” said Vanja.

Hansen Yuncken were well equipped to manage both the scale and complexity of this iconic new development. “The Sydney Coliseum Theatre  complements our extensive project portfolio including two other major theatre projects currently under construction in Hobart and Adelaide. We pride ourselves on delivering unique and complex projects – the Sydney Coliseum Theatre definitely falls into that bracket.”

Article produced by Australian National Construction Review: Read the full feature