ST JAMES THEATRE
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS & INFRASTRUCTURE
TE ARO, WELLINGTON
The St James Theatre of Wellington has a storied history, seeing immediate success after its initial construction in 1912 and then gradually falling into disrepair in the 1970s. By the 1980s, there were calls for the theatre's demolition, but advocacy groups lobbied to retain the building before it was eventually restored and brought back to its former glory in 1997.
Engineering reports in 2015 suggested that earthquake strengthening was required. Bartons were earmarked to help undertake infrastructure upgrades, with the teams already having worked together during the construction of the Tiakiwai Conference Centre at the National Library.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
During the necessary seismic upgrade process, Wellington City Council saw there may be an opportunity to upgrade key infrastructure, cabling and equipment for the site. The council elected to remove much of the outdated production communications cabling infrastructure and replace it with modern solutions. Where possible, we were tasked with retaining existing equipment components, which we tested thoroughly before reimplementing.
As with any older building, the task at hand had to be considered with a measured approach. At over 100 years old and listed as a Historic Place Category 1, the St James Theatre was a particular challenge, but one we were ready for. Overall a total of 1200 ethernet outlets, 570 audio outlets and 15 fibre outlets had to be carefully integrated into the existing building fabric.
Ultimately the project was a great success. Bartons provided extensive cable infrastructure including analogue audio, copper and fibre networking with a corporate network for wireless and remote control. By the end of the work, we had installed a whopping 41km of cable and 59 custom technical service panels. The St James Theatre is now set up and ready for shows, with fully integrated modern audio solutions on hand.