Fire Station Auditorium


Client: Sunderland Music, Arts And Culture Trust

Location: Sunderland

Status: Planning Approved

Area: 1,670 sqm

Cost: £7,000,000

Project Manager: Artis Consulting

Cost Consultant: Artis Consulting

Structural Consultant: WSP Structure

Services Consultant: WSP M&E

Acoustician: Idibri

Venues Consulant: Idibri

Fire Engineer: Design Fire Consultants

DDA Consultant: Arup

CDM Consultant: Flanagan Lawrence

The Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture Trust is developing 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 Fire Station Auditorium 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 refurbished Dun Cow pub and the newly renovated adjacent Fire Station. A key driver of the brief is to address Sunderland’s lack of appropriately sized specialist venues for music.

The new auditorium is 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 and around 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, matching the colour and tone of the red brickwork of the Fire Station. Views through the terracotta to the interior of the foyer reveal the form of the auditorium within.