World-class design consortium to lead Canberra Theatre redevelopment

The ACT Government today announced Architectus, Danish Architects Henning Larsen and international theatre designers ARUP as the Design Partner consortium chosen to deliver new designs for the Canberra Theatre Centre redevelopment.

These internationally recognised architecture firms demonstrated they had the best plan to deliver a theatre centre that integrates with the existing landscape and future vision for a thriving Canberra Civic and Cultural District.

The decision to appoint this Design Partner was also strengthened by the team who form the consortium, made up of local, national and international specialists in innovative theatre and architectural design.

The Design Partner will make the most of local insights by establishing a local office and partnering with Canberra’s industry leaders.

The team’s winning tender included early preliminary designs which depict a new theatre building with a bold and sophisticated façade treatment which references the formal modernist and brutalist landmarks of Canberra.

The ACT Government would like to thank the three architect consortia who submitted a tender for the project in a very competitive process.

The quality of submissions, care and passion shown by each team to help us lead the design of a transformed Canberra Theatre Centre were outstanding.

The Design Partner will now commence the design process with insights from theatre users and other technical experts.

Stakeholders and the community will also have an opportunity to influence the project with consultation opportunities being planned for later this year.

Design, consultation and approval processes will continue into 2024 and will inform planning for the project’s construction phase.

Sign up for updates on the Canberra Theatre Redevelopment project at

Quotes attributable to Chief Minister, Andrew Barr:

The calibre of interest we received from internationally significant consortia demonstrates the importance of this city shaping project. I look forward to seeing the designs take shape.

The renewed and expanded venues will attract events and performances that currently by-pass Canberra because our current facilities are too small. Our city will be able to host the top tier productions we currently miss, including the contemporary music, comedy, circus, musicals, ballet and opera.

This investment will support our economy, particularly the tourism, hospitality and accommodation sectors.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Arts, Tara Cheyne:

The redeveloped Canberra Theatre Centre is a city shaping project that will bring us closer to our vision for Canberra to be recognised as Australia’s arts capital.

It has been great to see how the Design Partner has understood and shares our vision for a world-class venue with architectural excellence befitting its location as the heart of the planned Canberra Civic and Cultural District.

Our vision for the renewed Canberra Theatre Centre will support the growth of Canberra’s live performance sector by creating spaces for artists and arts workers to develop, rehearse and perform productions.

Quotes attributable to Architectus Principal and Sector Leader, Public, Dr Stephen Long:

Together with Henning Larsen and Arup, we’re honoured to be selected from the impressive line-up of international practices that were shortlisted.

Our collective will play a key role in fuelling the creative spirit of Canberra by designing a world-class experience for the city’s thriving Canberra Civic and Cultural District.

Artists impression showing external façade of the new 2,000 seat theatre venue building.

Higher res versions of renders can be downloaded here: Canberra Theatre Center renders + maps 11.05.23 | Flickr

Examples of the architect’s work can be downloaded here: Architect projects | Flickr

About the Design Partner

Architectus is responsible for major projects including the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the redevelopment of the heritage listed State Library Victoria. Henning Larsen were the lead designers for the Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavik, Iceland and the Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen. Arup were the theatre designers for the Harpa Concert Hall and were part of the design team for the Hedberg, Hobart.

/Public Release. View in full here.