Dpai was commissioned to renovate and improve the main entrance of Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton’s premier professional theatre company. As the small size of the theatre’s old canopy and double swing doors were out of scale, they provided an awkward transition from the sidewalk to the lobby. Adorned only with a few incandescent Tivoli lights, the canopy did little to enhance the Theatre’s street presence. The new design brings the street to life with a continuous 1m-high video display wrapping around the new canopy, accented with bands of LED lights shining down from the perforated metal soffit. The new automatic sliding doors improve accessibility, giving all patrons a dignified entrance-experience regardless of age or mobility.
This generous canopy provides the theatre a practical shelter and a formal exterior gathering space, ultimately demarking Theatre Aquarius the anchor of the “King William Arts Walk” – the burgeoning commercial strip from James to Ferguson – a role now fulfilled with dignity. The theatre is now way more visible from a distance, particularly at night and its presence is strong in the public consciousness.
Location: 190 King William St, Hamilton, ON L8R 1A8
Client: Theatre Aquarius
"Theatre Aquarius, like many institutions in the non-profit sector, has big dreams, grand visions, and limited resources. That is exactly why a partner like david premi architecture has been so essential for us. They share our inspiration, and have the flexibility and responsiveness to help us actualize those ideas, while taking innovative approaches to ensure that the finished project reflects the vision, and not the roadblocks that were overcome along the way." - Lorna Zaremba, General Manager