Phillips Smith Conwell

Lismore City Hall


Bennett Constructions




Lismore, New South Whales


Phillips Smith Conwell

While this 1965 traditional civic hall was the premier arts facility for the Northern Rivers region of NSW it was in poor repair.

The local Council received a Federal Grant of $6M to upgrade the building to meet accessibility and BCA requirements, upgrade services and increase the Foyer area.

There was a planned future project that involved upgrading the stage, adding back-of-house areas with green rooms, set-hoist and storage areas along with an upgrade the hall acoustics.

PSC analysed the project from a first principles analysis and developed a scheme that achieved both current and future requirements of the brief plus a large undercover external area for a building cost of under $5M.

This was done by using air-conditioning ductwork as acoustic reflectors in the hall, converting unused ductwork to an acoustic bass trap, utilizing existing space in more efficient ways and interrogating the regulations to meet the requirements in the most cost effective of method. Every opportunity to control costs and reuse existing fabric was employed in the design.

Although the Hall is primarily for stage based shows it has retractable seating and the multi-function use of the space has been enhanced with this design.

A series of indoor and outdoor spaces that offer function and performance opportunities were created to improve the generated income.