The Court Theatre, 2024

new home for Christchurch venue

Haworth Tompkins are working with The Court Theatre and Christchurch City Council on a new venue in the city’s Performing Arts Precinct. Haworth Tompkins led the project from concept design before handing over to New Zealand-based practice Athfield Architects during preliminary design. Now at the end of detailed design, the project has been a collaboration with Athfield throughout.

The three-storey building will make use of natural materials, ventilation and light. It will house two auditoriums; a 365-seat main playhouse, and a 130-seat studio theatre, where children’s and family shows can be held. All aspects of a working theatre, including set-building, costume-making, rehearsals and administration, will be based on site, with plans to make these usually back-stage activities more visible to the public.

The team are also working on the design for public space in the Performing Arts Precinct. A series of laneways will draw people to a central courtyard, which will be used for a range of outdoor performances.

Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and the theatre is due to open in 2024.


Christchurch city council/the court theatre

NZ architects

athfield architects

Structural engineer


services engineer


theatre consultant



marshall day

landscape architects

canopy/gap filler

project manager