• HFC01
  • © Burrell Foley Fischer

Redeveloping one of the west of England's Premier Theatre

Hall for Cornwall, Truro


Project summary


The existing Hall for Cornwall is a 970-seat multi-purpose theatre which was created in the late 1990s between two granite facades: one a covered street market below the town hall, courts, and offices of Truro City Council, and the other a quay-side market hall. It is Cornwall’s home for presenting large scale theatre, comedy, community arts presentations, opera, and touring musical groups including regular performances of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.


The redevelopment project will enhance the openness of the theatre to its two public facades and increase the capacity of the auditorium to present larger touring productions. The design team of Burrell Foley Fischer Architects and Charcoalblue as theatre designers and acousticians proposes a radical transformation of the space by adding 280 seats, almost 100 sanding positions and – literally – raising the roof..


The single-tier auditorium will be demolished and replaced with a shallow stalls and two balconies with 1,250 seats. The result will retain the existing stage house and structural shell and open up the volume of the auditorium to new foyer spaces within the existing market buildings. The two foyer spaces will be linked via an ‘opeway’ passage through the auditorium. The three spaces can remain open for comedy and rock nights or be closed down for more acoustically sensitive classical music or drama by deploying permeable partitions and screen walls.


Charcoalblue’s acousticians identified the opportunity to enhance the natural acoustic of the auditorium as a consequence of revising the room form and its increased volume. It will be able to support unamplified music without recourse to an electronic enhancement system. Equally, a system of variable acoustic banners, slotted between the open structure of the auditorium will provide degrees of acoustic absorption to suit drama and amplified performances.


New positions for front of house technical equipment and electrical infrastructure, a forestage grid and revision to the orchestra pit will improve the theatre’s offer to a wider range of travelling productions and more diverse programming.