Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Majestic Theatre Apartments in Sydney by Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects
September 18th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Adrian Chan
The Majestic Theatre was built in 1921 as a substantial brick building with a strongly worked, rendered façade to New Canterbury Road. It is suspected that the original building housed vaudeville productions, as there was modest stage area, and very small back of house.
The quality of the architectural fabric, and its strong urban presence saw the building retained and transformed for new uses when the theatre ceased operation. This led to a series of modifications and new uses over time.
In 1947 the building was purchased by Greater Union and renamed the Odeon Theatre. In 1953 it was internally modified for use as s cinema by the architect Guy Crick, a well known cinema specialist in the interwar period. In 1979 it became a much-loved inner urban icon, the Majestic Roller Rink. Up until its recent closure, the building accommodated a local social club.
Insurance and liability pressures saw a number of proposals for public uses aborted. As such, the possibility of transforming the Majestic into residential apartments was considered.
The new works retain the existing building volume, roof profile and perimeter walls, but the interiors have been altered to allow for the insertion of ground floor commercial/retail uses including street fronting café and three levels of residential apartments above.
In total, 27 units are inserted within the original volume comprising a mix of one and two bedroom apartments. A series of single floor units front a laneway with a rich and varied inner urban outlook.
On the side of the building adjacent a neighbouring boundary is inserted a series of double height apartments with tall atrium spaces that bring light and air into the lower levels. At the top of the building a series of double height apartments with loft bedrooms occupy the old roof space and feature the original hardwood trusses that were exposed during construction.
At the remaining ends of the building a series of highly individual apartments occupy the nooks and crannies of old projection rooms and back of house elements of the original building.
Two of the original structural bays are retained as full height volumes with generous voids. These retain the sense of the original scale of the interior volume, hold the residential circulation and offer further opportunities to draw sunlight and ventilation into the volume.
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