Part of Auckland’s Q Theatre is in a Historic Place Category 2 heritage building at 305 Queen Street, and the other part is in a multi-purpose building alongside, completed by Naylor Love in 2011 after years of arts community fundraising.
The key to the new theatre is flexibility, with a main 450-seat auditorium that can be configured in at least five ways or have no seating at all. There is also a smaller 120-seat performance space upstairs, and a further rehearsal/performance space, a café and a bar area.
This was a complex build, starting with the delicate task of demolishing a car park still physically attached to the Auckland Town Hall. Below ground, the supposed rock base proved to be largely infill of a small valley, complete with stream, which had been converted into a storm water tunnel. Some of the feeder tunnels into the main train had to be re-routed; some of the concrete block obstructions had to be broken up with a pneumatic drill; and some piles had to be relocated where obstructions were too large to remove.
With all of the challenges successfully overcome by the hard-working site team, the new theatre opened to great acclaim.
Client: Q Theatre Trust
Completed: August 2011
Awards: NZ Commercial Project Awards 2013 – Gold in Tourism and Leisure Project category