Cessnock Performing Arts Centre

Multi-award winning project pays homage to the local cultural history by rejuvenating two existing buildings, adaptively using their heritage features to create an innovative civic facility


Cessnock City Council


Cessnock, NSW
Cessnock Performing Arts Centre


Located in Cessnock’s Cultural Precinct, the centre fulfils a central role in the cultural life of the region. The two existing federation buildings were sensitively restored while modern facilities and forms were incorporated between and beyond the existing building. The centre includes a 466 seat performing arts theatre, Senior Citizens Centre, Samaritans office and community room.
The design includes a range of creative spaces such as dance studios, drama and warm up spaces, green room, change rooms, multi-purpose spaces and shared community rooms. As well as an external timber deck come stage, offices and an orchestra pit.
Internally, existing architectural features, structures and linings have been left exposed where possible to celebrate their rich textures. SHAC also preserved the intricate detail of items such as original pressed metal ceilings, steel bow trusses and wall columns, heavy hard wood roof trusses and original brickwork, and original painted signage.
SHAC’s architects worked closely with the dedicated Cessnock City Council staff consultants and the building team from North Construction to deliver the project on time and within an extremely tight budget.
The Cessnock Performing Arts Centre not only enriches the cultural life of Cessnock, it also enhances the urban fabric, improving the gateway corner site from Sydney to Cessnock.


Processes used in this project