Design competition launched for Parramatta theatres redevelopment
The City of Parramatta has opened expressions of interest for the Riverside Theatres Redevelopment Design Competition.
The council invites Australian-led design teams, which may include international expertise, to register for a two-stage competition for a project that will catalyse the further transformation of the city’s cultural precinct, along with the under-construction Parramatta Powerhouse.
The $135 million redevelopment will double the capacity of the existing Riverside Theatres complex, with a 1,350–1,400-seat lyric theatre, a newly refurbished 760-seat Riverside playhouse theatre, a new 430-seat black-box drama theatre and a state-of-the-art 80–90-seat digital studio and cinema.
The City of Parramatta approved the business case for the redevelopment in Janurary 2023.
“The design competition process marks a significant step towards realising our vision of a world-class performing arts venue in Western Sydney as we transform the iconic Riverside Theatres into the anchor of a vibrant arts and cultural precinct,” said Parramatta lord mayor Sameer Pandey.
“The Riverside Theatres redevelopment will be a major piece of the growing Parramatta night-time economy, encouraging more to visit and take in some of the best stage shows in Australia.
“Through this transformative project, we envision creating a space that celebrates diversity, artistic brilliance, and the rich tapestry of our cultural heritage.”
Riverside Theatres director Craig McMaster added, “Our goal is to establish an all-new world-class arts and cultural centre that serves as a nurturing home for artists and performers, where they can thrive and connect with the community on a profound level.
“The new Riverside will also enable us to welcome the very best in mainstage musicals, theatre and concert productions from around the world to play here in the geographical heart of Sydney.
“As we embark on this exhilarating journey, the City of Parramatta is inviting the leaders in Australian and international creative architecture and design to join us in creating an enduring legacy that will inspire generations to come.”
A minimum of five eligible respondents will be shortlisted in September 2023 and invited to proceed to stage two of the competition. A winning scheme is expected to be selected in November 2023.
The jury comprises Abbie Galvin (New South Wales government architect and chair), Jefa Greenaway (director of Greenaway Architects), Craig McMaster (theatre director of Riverside Theatres), Kerry Clare (director of Clare Design) and Oi Choong (founding director of Context Landscape Design).
Works will begin on the redevelopment in 2024. Register for the competition the Riverside Theatres website.