The Armitage Centre

Location: Toowoomba, Australia
Client: Toowoomba Regional Council / Hutchinson Builders
Status: Completed 2014


Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) in partnership with Empire Theatres was seeking to create a new bespoke Performance Venue within the existing Empire Theatre Precinct. The proposed Theatre named The Armitage Centre after its benefactors and sponsors will provide a flexible environment, capable of accommodating the diverse uses anticipated by the Empire Theatres. This will include performance space with retractable seating for up to 288 patrons, function space for approximately 300+ in a dinner setting, trade show opportunities, theatre / stage / technical training with Schools / TAFE’s and Universities, community theatre groups and movies in addition to the necessary support spaces and meeting areas. The Design approach was realised by allowing the Armitage Centre to ‘consume’ part of the Heritage listed Wesley Church Theatre, this deliberate link allows the 2 buildings to be unified in their common usage but in turn reinforce their architectural differences. In addition this key decision will afford the Armitage Centre  greater prominence within the site but also reinforce the Empire’s desire to create a connected precinct. The Armitage Centre ’s position within the north east corner of the site has driven much of the buildings form and aesthetic. The use of tilt-up concrete gives a simple robustness to the building whilst providing an economical construction methodology. ur role and commitment to a quality outcome enabled the project to progress without the need to compromise on the original idea but offer options to TRC for further additions not essential at the outset but available to for inclusion over time. This aligned with the ambition of the client and fostered the necessary trust between all parties involved essential in achieving such a successful outcome within such a tight site and limited budget.

State Commendation 2015 AIA Queensland Architecture Awards - THE ARMITAGE CENTRE, TOOWOOMBA

WINNER 2015 AIA Queensland Architecture Awards - Darling Downs/West Moreton Region - William Hodgen Award for Building of the Year - THE ARMITAGE CENTRE, TOOWOOMBA

Photography: Roger D'Souza