Singapore has focused keenly on developing the city as a metropolis for art and culture, renovating cultural landmarks to accommodate contemporary performances. The historic Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall in the civic-district recently conclude a four-year modernization project led by W Architects in cooperation with Arup, Ltd., London. Erected in 1905 to honor Queen Victoria, the historical integrity of the theater was carefully maintained while the interior functionality was updated to address modern requirements and tastes.
Several of the objectives included upgrading technical equipment, improving acoustics and stage visibility, and ensuring flexible uses of the space. As part of this effort, the size of the theater was reduced from 900 seats to 614. It was critical to the designers to integrate elements of the old theater into the new modern facility. For example, former wooden backrests were transformed into wall and ceiling cladding.
To disguise technical equipment fitted near the ceiling, the designers turned to GKD's range of metal fabrics to achieve this goal without affecting the acoustics. They hung woven panels of varying length of the Omega 1520 stainless steel fabric into three flowing waves that seem to move from the back of the theater to the stage. A freestanding staircase in the foyer was clad in just over 1,800 square feet of Baltic metal fabric wrap to create an attractive fall guard protection up to the first floor.