The Sydney Lyric Theatre

Sydney CBD, Sydney

Altis Architecture was approached by The Sydney Lyric Theatre with a motivating brief. The majority of Australian theatre spaces at the time had a seating capacity of 800-1200 seats. Many international shows from Broadway, New York and West End, London were looking to take their productions to Australia but felt that there was not a suitable space within which to perform, this being smaller scale seating areas. Also, the current design for the Lyric Theatre had numerous flaws including many seats with restricted views, seats too far from the stage, an overall lack of intimacy and a lack of private box seats or pre-show function rooms. Altis Architecture re-designed the spaces and finishes, adding additional rows of seating to the dress circle and the grand circle whilst maintaining the overall capacity of 2000. This allowed us to eliminate the seats with poor site lines and to bring in the side walls of the theatre creating a sense of intimacy. Altis then created a fully transformable theatre space where you can hide or reveal 600 seats in 40 seconds with the click of your IPhone. This way the theatre would always have a full house. The result, the international shows have since been able to utilise the venue, with the most recent being ‘The Book of Mormon’. This project was exceptionally successful winning the master builder’s excellence award in 2018.

Project Overview