Perumal Pedavoli for
Dubbo City Council

Dubbo, NSW


$18 million

Structural, civil and
hydraulic engineer

Dubbo Theatre and Convention Centre is a new 550 seat theatre with change rooms, toilets, a large foyer, a link to the adjacent town hall, and a basement storage area.

The facility is modelled on the Sydney Theatre Company at Walsh Bay.

External facade

The structure consists of a reinforced precast concrete facade panels supported by a fire rated braced steel skeleton. The concrete walls are used for the lateral stability of the building. Temporary steel bracing was included in the design to enable complete erection of the steel frame prior to the installation of the precast panels. Once the installation of the panels was complete, the bracing was removed.

Theatre seating

The seating was designed as an inclined slab with seat platforms formed and poured in a second stage. This allowed for ventilation ducts to be cast into the seating and ensured accuracy of seat platform layout and level.

Specialist theatre equipment

Special bracing was needed to resist loads from the pulley system for the scenes and counterweights (40 tonnes in total). Structure was also required for lifting points for suspending performers, lighting and sound equipment. A complex series of walkways and stairs provide access to various levels were also suspended from the structure.

Acoustic requirements

Due to the need for silence in some performances, an additional layer of hebel panels were required to the walls that were constructed with steel framing and covered with steel sheeting. This layer of hebel panels achieved the fire rating requirements of the BCA. Additional structure was required to support the hebel panels every three metres in height.

The centre opened in April 2010 and features a fly tower with 46 fly lines, mechanically operated orchestra pit, dressing rooms, full sized stage and proscenium arch opening, loading dock, sound and lighting control rooms and foyer with refreshment bar and box office.

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