halls, hawthorn arts centre

Designed in 1887 in the Second Empire style by Architect John Beswicke, the main hall of the former town hall was redecorated in the 1930s, with flamboyant faceted chandeliers, art deco plastering and painting.  The hall continues to be used for many types of activities including performances, dances, seminars, dinners, civic ceremonies and public service programmes.  This project required an assessment of the suitability, mobility and storage of seating types for audiences viewing performance art.  The conclusion was the provision of upholstered demountable theatre seats with counterweight seat and arm operation on a matrix sled base system with peacock blue velvet upholstery reflecting the art deco palette of the ceiling plasterwork. The adjacent nineteenth century decorated Chandelier Room was modified to facilitate the extension of the centre’s commercial kitchen but without impacting the functionality and character of the room.  The scheme brought the kitchen up to the fascia of the gallery and introduced onyx coloured brocatell fabric panels as a backdrop with acoustic attenuation.

photographer: Peter Bennetts