Aotea Centre

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Aotea Centre
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The Aotea Centre is a performing arts and events centre / theatre in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. Located at the western edge of Aotea Square, off Queen Street, the Centre provides a cultural and entertainment venue space in the heart of the city and is managed by Regional Facilities Auckland (which also operates the Auckland Town Hall and the Civic Theatre, both close by around the Square). The origin of its name is Motu Aotea, the Māori name for Great Barrier Island, which is the largest offshore island of New Zealand and approximately 90 km from downtown Auckland. The main construction of the centre was finished in 1989, having cost NZ$ 128.5 million. The centre officially opened the following year. Designed by the City architect Ewen Wainscott in 1974, the building was not actually built until more than a decade later. It won the NZIA Silver Medal award. Costs escalated greatly during construction resulting in several features being omitted. Due to poor acoustics, the main auditorium required an expensive refit in the mid-1990s. The Centre provides a range of foyers, gallery spaces, and function rooms as well as the 2,139 seat Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre ( formerly ASB Theatre, renamed in 2019) and the much smaller, 186-seat Herald Theatre, which is mainly used by small independent theatre companies. Critics have said it is derivative of Alvar Aalto's Finlandia Hall though it is not as well received and lacks the visual connection to its surroundings. In 2000 a design competition was held for the Aotea Precinct, and the winner was the landscape architecture-urban design team consisting of Ted Smyth, Rod Barnett and Dushko Bogunovich. In 2011, an upgrade of Aotea Square also included a major facelift of the public stairs in front of the Centre, including creating a cafe space under a large veranda open to the Square.
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ASB Theatre
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