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Italian Forum Cultural Centre

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The Italian Forum Cultural Centre is a new multipurpose theatre, gallery and Function Room Space, built within an existing building shell at the Italian Forum, in Norton Street Leichhardt.

The new fitout of the space has created a 365 seat multipurpose theatre and auditorium, with gallery spaces, function rooms, kitchen and bars, back of house spaces and administrative offices.

The new facilities form the central hub of the Italian culture in the Sydney Metropolitan area. The Italian Forum Cultural Centre provides Theatre and Multipurpose spaces for the Italian Community and the wider community at large.

Adaptive Re-use
The Italian Forum complex was completed in 1997. It included provision for a Cultural Centre and auditorium, and although the structure (slabs, columns, perimeter walls) were constructed legal issues prevented the project from proceeding further. In 2007 BHA designed a new, more flexible and substantially different auditorium facility for the Centre. It involved adapting the existing structure and services to create an outstanding beautiful new Multipurpose auditorium.

Multipurpose Theatre / Auditorium
The central focus of the Italian Forum Cultural Centre is the multipurpose theatre. Designed as a flat floor auditorium, it comprises retractable seating for 365 patrons, with a stage area with proscenium and curtain. The theatre has been designed with an octagonal footprint, rising over two storey, and incorporating a unique central skylight, allowing daylight to theatre for day events. The auditorium provides multipurpose space, having flexibility for multiple performances, including full theatre in the thrust, end on and stage in the round.

The theatre can be used for concerts and recitals, cinema screening, fashion shows, and a multitude of flat floor functions.

The interior of the theatre has been designed in three dimensional origami elements that come through the foyer areas and connect the centre.

Gallery Space
The Italian Forum Cultural Centre has one main gallery area on Level 1 with flow on galleries on Ground and Level 1 around the outside of the Theatre Space.
These galleries provide hanging and exhibition space for artwork and cultural events.

Function Rooms and Support Spaces
The Cultural Centre has three large Function Rooms, that can seat between 50 to 100 people. These are located at the Ground Level and Level 1, and are served by a Function Kitchen and Bar, Foyers, Gallery, Main Theatre and Back of House and Change Rooms.
Stage 2 will complete the centre with the Function Rooms, Kitchens and Administrative areas.

physical size: 1,980
cost: $7 million
completed: December 2011


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