WM       Winwood Mckenzie


Northcote Theatre Refurbishment

Northcote Theatre is the refurbishment of a heritage listed building into a cultural and creative hub in Darebin. As parts of the building have been abandoned for the last 40 years, the project has rejuvenated the main venue for a unique way to experience a contemporary performing arts venue.

The scope of work included a reinstatement of the foyer staircase, tiered seating within the mezzanine and balcony stalls, activation of the hospitality spaces on High St, minimal yet effective refurbishment of the original heritage architecture, refurbishment of existing amenities, modernisation of the venue with lift and DDA compliance, restoration of deteriorating interiors and adding unique bar experiences throughout the venue. Two external staircases were designed to create egress circulation to a future rooftop deck and bar with opportunities to view Mt Dandenong due to clear sight lines from Ruckers Hill.

The project is led by a private client consortium who are the operators of the venue supporting a mix of functions to cater to a diverse range of patrons throughout the day and night. The project is relevant due to complex mix of renovation, restoration, and new build on a state heritage listed site. This work involved a high degree of collaboration and coordination with the client, local council, planning consultants, heritage consultant and Heritage Victoria, environmentally sustainable design consultants, fire services engineers, structural engineers, building surveyors, traffic and waste consultants, suppliers and fabricators. The goal of the project to retain and maximise the potential of what exists whilst making effective design interventions that transform the tired and aging venue into a dynamic contemporary performing arts centre for the community was achieved.

A longer term plan for the venue to achieve Carbon Neutral Operations was developed in collaboration with LID consulting.

Location: Wurundjeri-willam Country | Northcote

Type: Heritage Renovation | Adaptive Reuse

Year:  2020 – 2022

Team: Micah Carganilla, Thom Mckenzie, Lindy Nguyen, Catalina Edey, Jake Nancarrow