Canberra Theatre redevelopment shortlists three internationally significant design and architecture partners

The ACT Government has asked three of Australia’s leaders in innovative theatre and architectural design to submit a tender to become the ACT Government’s design partner for the Canberra Theatre Redevelopment project.

A redeveloped Canberra Theatre Centre, including a new major theatre, is essential to the city’s performing arts future and a key driver for the tourism, economy, hospitality, and accommodation sectors.

Architectus, DesignInc and Hassell have been named as the preferred shortlisted tenderers to participate in the next phase of the procurement process which will run until the first quarter of 2023.

These three organisations have a track record for delivering excellence in globally significant design and architecture projects. All three have partnered with international architects to bring the best of the world’s ideas to Canberra.

Architectus is responsible for major projects including the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the redevelopment of the heritage listed State Library Victoria. It has partnered with Danish architects Henning Larsen who were the lead designers for the Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavik, Iceland and the Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen, and international theatre designers Arup.

DesigInc who recently completed work on Phive, Paramatta’s new civic hub and library, will work with international firm Zaha Hadid Architects who is responsible for Beijing’s Galaxy Soho.

Australian international firm Hassell is the architect behind the Sydney Theatre Company and refurbishment of the ANU Birch Building and will be collaborative design partners with international multidisciplinary design studio Snøhetta, known for their work on the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and the Times Square redevelopment.

The three short-listed tenderers will work with other national and international industry leading specialists to prepare their tender proposals for a globally recognised theatre centre that supports Canberra’s strategic ambition to be Australia’s arts capital.

A renewed Canberra Theatre Centre will deliver a major new theatre and reimagine the current facilities to support the presentation and production of international, national and local performances, concerts and events.

Diversity and inclusion will be a priority in the tender submissions, with tenderers asked to create design solutions that are supportive and inclusive for patrons, staff and performers with a disability and involves those who identify as LGBTIQ+.

Following an evaluation process, it is expected the successful consortium will be appointed as the ACT Government’s design partner by mid-2023 to develop and deliver detailed Canberra Theatre Centre designs.

The successful tenderer will work closely with Major Projects Canberra during the design phase to provide opportunities for stakeholder and community input into the final design.

Design, public consultation and approval processes will take around two years 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 theatre centre will be the heart of the new Canberra Cultural and Civic District and is a key driver for the tourism, economy, hospitality, and accommodation sectors.

The renewed centre will support the growth of the capital’s live performance industry by including spaces for artists and arts workers to develop and rehearse productions.

The project is part of the Government’s plans to build a better future for Canberra, delivering the infrastructure that will ensure the nation’s capital remains one of the most liveable cities over the coming decades.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Arts, Tara Cheyne:

The redeveloped CTC will provide a world-class audience experience and deliver architectural excellence befitting its location in the centre of our city and centred in the planned Canberra Civic and Culture District.

This project will also support our local industry by including world-class facilities for artists and art workers to develop, rehearse and perform productions.

I am excited to see the innovative tenders these industry leaders produce, bringing us closer to our ambition for Canberra as Australia’s arts capital.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.