2023 Winner – Civic Trust Awards National & International
2022 Winner – North East Culture Award for Best Museum or Cultural Venue
2022 Winner – Insider NE Property Public-Private Collaboration Award
2022 Winner – Schuco Excellence Cultural Building Award
2022 Winner – National Structural Steel Design Award
The Fire Station Auditorium, Sunderland is a brand-new state of the art performance venue, developed by the Music, Arts and Culture Trust. They are developing a Music, Arts and Cultural Quarter (MACQ) master in the centre of Sunderland, that will restore and re-establish the area’s previous importance as the Edwardian heart and soul of the city. The project was won in competition in 2016 and forms a key component in the masterplan for the Music and Cultural Quarter, built around the refurbished Dun Cow pub, the Empire Theatre and the recently renovated adjacent Fire Station.
A flexible new hall: A key driver of the brief for the auditorium is the need to address Sunderland’s lack of an appropriately mid-sized performance venue. As a result, the new auditorium is designed to accommodate audiences of 500 people seated or 800 people standing in a variety of layouts. The hall has been designed to work equally well for amplified music or a natural acoustic, for the staging of drama, dance or comedy, conference events and film screenings.
Public space: The foyer is designed as an extension of the ground floor public space within the Edwardian Fire Station and the venue capitalises on the surrounding public open space and creates a destination in the heart of the City. It forms a natural partner to the restaurants, bars, and drama and dance rehearsal spaces in and around the Fire Station. The historic Parade Ground to the rear of the Fire Station has been opened to the public and features an outdoor stage allowing the venue to host multiple performances simultaneously.
The new Auditorium is a mixture of new-build and the refurbished Edwardian fire station which contains studio spaces for Live Theatre, Dance City, and the University of Sunderland. The ground level box office / reception sits at the centre and serves both wings of the project with the Engine Room providing an all-day F/B offering which operates when the Auditorium is closed and opens out on to the south facing public square.
The Fire Station Team – Flanagan Lawrence, Brims, Howarth Litchfield, Artis, WSP, Idibri, Design Fire Consultants, Arup and Sunderland MACT
Details on some of our other award winning projects can be found here>>