The St James Theatre is a category 1 heritage listed building, designed by architect Henry Eli White and opened to the public in 1928. Over the years the St James Theatre played host to performances by Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivian Leigh, the Bolshoi Ballet and the 1981 Royal Variety Performance for Queen Elizabeth II. In its later life the theatre and surrounding cinemas were used for live rock concerts, dance parties and nightclubs until an electrical fire in the Odeon cinema forced the closure of the complex.
As part of the existing resource consent our client had the option to ‘mothball’ the theatre or undertake extensive restoration, refurbishment and seismic works to meet current building codes. The Client is passionate about the St James Theatre and seeing such an important piece of history reopened for use by the residents of Auckland.
ECS has been working closely with key stakeholders being the Client, Auckland Notable Properties Trust, Auckland Council and various consultants and contractors to develop a detailed Restoration, Refurbishment and Seismic Works Proposal. This proposal has been submitted to Auckland Council for review and comment. This scope includes:
– Extensive seismic works in the form of ‘base-isolation’ to bring the theatre as close as practicable to 100% of NBS
– BWIC with seismic such as demolition and rebuild of certain backstage walls and roof structure
– Replace roof for water-tightness and acoustic requirements
– Refurbish and/or replace building services such as Electrical, Fire, Hydraulics and Mechanical.
– Repair and/or replacement of heritage features such as Terazzo flooring and ornate plaster details, fine art restoration etc.
Aligning the St James Suites works program with that of the St James Theatre is critical to the success of Theatre works proposal and ECS are working tirelessly with all parties across both projects to bring this to reality.