The Sydney Coliseum Theatre is a 2000-seat multi-mode performance venue located in burgeoning Western Sydney. The coliseum’s form is distinctive; a flowing concrete curtain swept across the foyers and around the auditorium creating a fluid movement that intrigues, drawing patrons into the performance within.

Project Name: Sydney Coliseum Theatre
Studio Name: Cox Architecture
Completion date: 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
Photography: John Gollings

©John Gollings

Glimpses through the concrete curtain are accentuated through vertical glass slivers that reveal interior colour to the neighborhood beyond. Shimmering white concrete gently glimmers by day, and as the light dims, the glow of performance illuminates the night sky. The conceptual narrative for the design stems from the concept of transcendence, with the journey from the outside world to the magic of performance reflected through form, materiality and colour.

©John Gollings

The design confidently rejects superfluous decoration and employs a purposely restrained use of three primary materials; timber, terrazzo and plaster. The dramatic interplay between layered mezzanines and sweeping staircases creates a symphonic quality to the interior, imbuing the heart and soul of performance into every inch of its built form. A generous sweeping stair connects the multi-layered atrium, carving out multiple vantage points to take in the charged atmosphere before the quiet calm of curtains up.

©John Gollings

The palette heightens the drama as you move into the theatre – stirring patrons’ expectancy for what lies within. The space dramatically shifts from an ivory lined façade and dove grey terrazzo floors to a fluid ribbon of timber, enveloping the central volume into an inky dark performance space where all attention is on centre stage.“This venue is for everyone, from ballet lovers to rock enthusiasts. The honest and unpretentious materiality is almost chameleon-like in its ability to suit everyone and every occasion.” COX Director Brooke Lloyd


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