Public   MACQ Auditorium

The Sunderland Music, Arts And Culture Trust is creating a Music, Arts and Cultural Quarter (MACQ) 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 MACQ will encompass a series of fine buildings all built in Sunderland’s heyday in the early 1900s and a new auditorium designed by Flanagan Lawrence. Within the quarter will be the already successful Empire, the Dun Cow and the Londonderry pubs.

The brief for the Music and Cultural Quarter is to develop a new cultural facility, built around the newly refurbished Dun Cow pub and the renovation of the adjacent Fire Station which are currently underway. Sunderland lacks any appropriate specialist venues for music, and there are no medium sized or specialist performance venues anywhere in the city. The key element in the brief is to provide a venue that can fill this gap.

The focus of the proposed accommodation is a new auditorium – designed to accommodate audiences of 450 people seated or 750 people standing. The hall will be designed to work equally well for amplified music or a natural acoustic, for the staging of drama, dance or comedy and conference events. Foyers and back of house accommodation will serve the hall. The venue will capitalise on the surrounding public open space and create a destination in the heart of Sunderland. It will form a natural partner to the restaurants, bars and drama and dance rehearsal spaces proposed in the Fire station.

The Auditorium and the Fire Station will form a continuous façade to the public square. Above the glazed foyer the new building will be clad in terracotta brise soleil to match the colour and tone of the red brickwork of the Fire Station. Views to the interior of the foyer reveal the form of the new auditorium within.

Client    Sunderland Music, Arts And Culture Trust
Location    Sunderland
Status    Planning

Architect    Flanagan Lawrence
Acoustic Consultant    Arup
Venues Consulting    Arup
Structural Consultant    WSP Structure
Fire Consultant Design    Fire Consultants
DDA Consultant    Arup
Cost Consultant    Identity Consult
CDM Consultant    Faithful and Gould
Services Consultant    WSP M&E
Project Management    Buckley Burnett

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