The Restoration of the Auditorium of the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch is one of the Studio’s proudest contributions to date.

Following the Christchurch Earthquake of 2011, the theatre was left in a damaged state and many of its decorative features were damaged. While the building was eventually condemned to demolition, the original brick and limestone facade and the auditoriums iconic dome mural could be saved. Warren and Mahoney Architects enlisted the help of SCI to restore the mural and have it returned to the ceiling of the soon-to-be rebuilt Theatre Royal. During the process, however, it was realised that the mural could not be reattached to a rigid dome structure as a rigid form could collapse in the event of another earthquake. The solution was to reattach the mural to a new dome composed from fibreglass; an innovation conceived of by the studio and never before seen in the world. The structure of this new dome has flexibility so is earthquake-resilient and provides better accoustics than timber or plaster could.

In addition to the dome, Studio Carolina Izzo also took on the role of detailing the new plasterwork for the theatre and coating it in gold leaf and a colour palette chosen by the studio. The studio also consulted with experts on limestone in Venice to revise the intended facade of the theatre to one which would appear more like the original appearance and have an extended lifespan.

The project was an absolute success for the studio and for reviving Christchurch’s historic architecture.