From the Resene News – issue 4/2013
Performing in colour - Cube Theatre
The Cube Theatre is an exciting project undertaken by the Wodonga City Council to enhance Wodonga’s Art and Cultural liveability and create a performing arts and entertainment venue in the centre of the city to complement the neighbouring Library, Arts Space and Cafe facilities.
The Cube Theatre in Wodonga is a contemporary and flexible performing and entertainment venue that creates a vibrant architectural statement to Wodonga’s central Hovell Street while also providing a stimulating and engaging atmosphere within. The venue caters to everything from concerts and performances, to exhibitions and trade fairs as well as conferences and conventions.
The auditorium has the ability to operate in many modes, using its retractable seating unit and shallow seating pit to clear the space for any type of flat floor performance. This includes a raked theatre seating format for 400+ or flat floor format for 1000. A full height, full width, acoustic operable wall through the auditorium allows the room to be sub-divided for multiple events running at the same time. A 10 metre wide, 6 metre high acoustic stage door opens the venue up to the Civic courtyard allowing the venue to perform to an outdoor audience.
The vibrant foyer space provides an exciting introduction to the night’s performance. The foyer can also be used as an additional function space; this added flexibility is a key factor in good design of any performing arts venue.
The colour scheme selected for the Cube was driven by several inspirations. The first being the client, City of Wodonga, who already expressed such vibrancy and energy in their corporate colours such as pink, orange and red. The use of the building being a performing arts centre demanded an energetic, busy and positive space where the play of colour and light could be demonstrated to create this sense within the building. And the architecture of the building, with its juxtaposition of forms creating bold angles, needed to be expressed by using a strong sophisticated colour scheme.
Colours for key areas, such as the stairs, were picked to showcase the sculptural qualities. Resene Moxie (shamrock green) creates a feature punched out against the neutral tones of Resene Stonewashed (weathered mink beige) and Resene Thorndon Cream (understated neutral) used elsewhere in the foyer. The double height precast concrete wall running up alongside the stairs needed to be a dark colour to minimise imperfections of the precast; Resene Fandango (bright purple) suited perfectly and complemented the other Resene colours and adjacent flooring.
Once the colours were selected for the foyer, artwork was then commissioned to complement the vibrant Resene Moxie and Resene Fandango paint used on the stairwell and other parts of the building.
Simple elements of the bar, such as the pelmet, highlighted the use of colour like that of Resene Belladonna (fuchsia pink) to balance out the vibrant colours used within the bar and subtly bring in the colour used outside on the facade. Not only did this space play on the choice of colour but it also played on the type of finish, from high gloss sheens to low sheens.
The same method of taking simple elements was used in the auditorium where the steel beams are expressed by the use of the colour Resene Red Hot (primary red) to define the galleries that wrap the large performance box. Resene Red Hot doesn’t take over the space; it manages to complement and balance all the other finishes and materials.
The high standard and execution of paint was very important especially on the use of the large perforated panels that are used extensively within the building. The foyer is finished in Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint complemented by the gloss of Resene Enamacryl waterborne enamel on the stairs. Doors are finished in Resene Lusta-Glo semi-gloss enamel tinted to Resene Rice Cake. The dark hues of Resene Blackjack (carbon black) and Resene Afficionado (dark brown) in Resene SpaceCote Flat waterborne enamel add atmosphere to the auditorium. The perforated panels within the auditorium were finished off site in Resene Obelisk (sea green).
Testing was done of the coloured LED lights against the striking Resene Belladonna used on the auditorium ceiling space to determine the different moods and visual effects that could be created within the space.
The bold colour palette won this project the Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Public + Retail Space Award 2013. The judges found the colour selection “ecclesiastical and fit for cardinals and kings, the colour palette is completely memorable. It’s bold and luminous, vibrant and energetic with a sense of anticipation that something exciting is about to happen. It’s a great example of getting atmosphere from walls not floors and the palette is a departure from current colour trends yet looks completely modern.”
Architectural Specifier: Chris Hose, Williams Ross Architects
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