Balcony adds intimacy to landmark theatre development

Kwai Tsing Theatre, Hong Kong

Sophisticated design and spec for millennium new-build

Challenge

The Hong Kong government wanted a new theatre to become a landmark in the island’s cultural development. It was to open just weeks ahead of the new millennium.

Solution

This 800-seat auditorium is arranged somewhat differently to the client’s original plans. On our recommendation, installing a balcony has created an intimacy that would otherwise be lacking in a single-level theatre. The space has two side stages and a rear stage area, adaptable for a breadth of drama, dance, musicals, concerts films and community presentations.

Kwai Tsing Theatre’s staging is simultaneously sophisticated and easy to manage. A stage wagon with revolving platform can be lowered to stage level using elevators in the stage and rear stage areas. The orchestra pit also has elevators. And there’s a mechanised stage riser and computer-controlled powered flying.

For concerts, a complete orchestra shell formed of stacking towers moves on air bearings, while a flown ceiling includes concert lighting, fire-protected and sound-reducing dividing shutters, and lighting systems covering both stage and working areas.

  • Seating capacity: 800
  • Project venue type: Theatre 
  • Project build type: New build 
  • Location: Hong Kong 
  • Completion date: 1999 
  • Project value: £4.2 million
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