Cairns Per­form­ing Arts Centre

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The city of Cairns desired a new performing arts centre integrated with an entertainment district and designed to engage the diverse arts communities in the region. Schuler Shook were engaged for a feasibility study and retained for full theatre planning and audio-visual services for this new building with a 900-seat proscenium theatre and an innovative 400-seat flexible theatre/rehearsal studio on the site of the previous Cairns Civic Theatre.

The new proscenium theatre was designed to improve upon the previous venue and does so with a deeper stage, larger wings, a taller fly tower and more fly lines. The orchestra pit is larger, and back of house facilities include more change rooms. These improvements allow for a greater number of productions to tour through CPAC.

The studio theatre allows for a variety of seating configurations that can be set up in a minimal amount of time thanks to the automated riser system and permanent balcony. This flexibility, in conjunction with AV and sound systems design allows the room to accommodate end stage, thrust, in the round, standing room (for live music) as well as other imaginative combinations.


Cairns, QLD


CA Architects / Cox Architecture


  • 2020 Minister’s Awards for Urban Design in Queensland

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