For show stopping flooring without the drama, COX Architecture knew exactly where to go!
Architects for the Arts
As one of Australia’s leading national architectural firms, multi-award winning, COX Architecture have extensive experience on multiple major public and private projects, both here and overseas. Staffed by a veritable army of architects, urban planners, interior designers, researchers and digital visualisation experts, COX ensure that each project will contribute positively to the community, ‘giving more than it takes.’
When COX were engaged to redevelop Adelaide's oldest continually operating performance space, the venerable Her Majesty’s Theatre, they appreciated the importance of their role in delivering a legacy project - a cultural landmark designed to be enjoyed for generations.
Reviving an Icon
At more than a century old, the theatre affectionally known as ‘Her Maj’, has weathered World Wars, The Great Depression, bankruptcy, several refurbishments and two pandemics. Part of the original ‘Tivoli Circuit’, an outlet for vaudeville theatre that vanished with the advent of television, with venues in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Today, Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide is the last surviving Tivoli.
Key to its ongoing longevity, was the opportunity to purchase the adjacent building, ensuring a transformation with the capacity to attract the world’s best touring shows and musicals, and reinstate the theatre’s significant role in the community. The 66 million dollar refurbishment included increasing the size of the stage and auditorium, reinstalling the Grand Circle and improving front of house and backstage accessibility.
“The Her Majesty's Theatre project is the embodiment of achieving best practice design principles paired with exceptional design outcomes. The public and media acclaim to date and successful performances strongly point to a significant improvement in South Australians' performing arts and cultural life and a wider audience.” - Zoë King, Cox Architecture
As architectural directors on the project, Zoë King and Adam Hannon, were committed to preserving the theatre’s historical spirit, the contemporary development designed to work seamlessly behind the building’s heritage facade. Along with a number of items salvaged from an earlier refurbishment, the COX team also drew inspiration from the original drawings, incorporating deconstructed art deco motifs into the design.
The finished project, a 21st century design built with integrity and imbued with the character of the original theatre, saw COX architecture receive three gongs at the 2021 South Australian Architecture Awards: the David Saunders Award for Heritage Architecture, the Jack McConnel Award for Public Architecture and the City of Adelaide Prize.
True to the aesthetic of by-gone glamour, the interior fit-out was luxurious with the choice of flooring requiring a considered mix of lush comfort and commercial durability. Having worked with the GH Commercial design team on many previous projects, COX were confident a custom Axminster carpet, synonymous with quality and luxury, would meet the brief.
The splendid claret carpet, installed throughout the foyers, corridors, general waiting areas, as well as inside the theatre, evokes the glitz and glamour of a romantic night at the theatre. From research, it was discovered that scarlet was once among the most difficult dyes to manufacture, making it a highly prized shade, traditionally used to welcome royalty. The notion of the red carpet treatment for stars, COX celebrated the audience instead, the red ombre colour transition ensuring durability and longevity.
GH Commercial Axminster carpet is defined, like the theatre itself, by quality and performance, its thick pile and high density, easily withstanding a cast of thousands without compromising on exceptional underfoot comfort.
Made from premium New Zealand and British wool blend fibre and merging time honoured weaving skills with advanced production technology, the interweave of pile and backing locks the yarn into place for additional stability, without relying on adhesive for construction strength.
Available in a selection of weight qualities, in colours and patterns suitable for any decor, our commercial carpets are tailored to meet the varying demands of hospitality. From hotel guest rooms, restaurants, auditoriums or busy corridor hallways, there’s a custom carpet or hard floor flooring solution perfect for any public space.
GH Commercial are delighted to collaborate with designers and architects, bringing character, quality and high-performance flooring to every project.
Project: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
Architect and Designer: COX Architecture
Builder: Handen Yuncken Construction
Flooring: Custom Axminster