The Court Theatre, 2022

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. The project, now at the end of concept design, has been in collaboration with New Zealand-based practice Athfield Architects who will also be leading on the next stage.

The three-storey building will make use of natural materials, ventilation and light. It will house two auditoriums; a 360-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 and rehearsals, 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 from busker shows to kapa haka festivals.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and the theatre is due to open in late 2023.


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