Helping return live performance to the centre of community life”
Shand Shelton are New Zealand’s only architectural and theatre consultancy. They have been making theatre spaces for 25 years, an architectural and theatre consultancy team that have hauled on ropes from the fly floor, stage managed shows, performed and managed productions, and successfully run both a commercial and community theatre.
Shand Shelton has two Directors – Phil Conroy and Roger Shand. Phil is the third generation to be working in theatres and is our theatre technical guru – specialising in theatre engineering…..rigging, LX, audio, public address, paging, DMX, draping, seating and automation.
Roger is the theatre planner, designer, with a detailed appreciation of performance, intimacy, ambiance, sightlines and acoustics meeting the requirements for both audiences and performers.
Phil, as a Production Manager for NZIFA, has been a key part of delivering the Edinburgh Tattoo to Wellington, twice. Roger, as Project Director, drove the rebuild of Wellington City’s creative heart. They couple their passion for live performance with a formidable knowledge of the building industry, contracting, construction, costing and programming.
Shand Shelton have completed 18 major theatre projects and stage house renovations, including Her Majesty’s Theatre in central Melbourne and the St James in Wellington and recently completed ASA Theatre, a new build in Marlborough. They have worked throughout New Zealand and in Australia. They have travelled to theatres throughout Europe, Britain, Japan and USA to experience, learn and to ensure they are up to date with the latest technology and trends.
Shand Shelton understand performance venues and the specialised engineering required to achieve them. Today they lead a dedicated and talented staff, along with specialist experienced consultants, in the fields of structural, mechanical, electrical engineering and acoustics.
They are also the only architectural practice to have received the ETNZ Lifelong Achievement Award for services to the New Zealand theatre community.
Roger Shand leads the Shand Shelton architectural team dedicated to performance design. With Phil Conroy as his theatre counterpart Roger has been responsible for many of the country’s successful rebirths of Heritage theatres and performance venues.
Roger has successfully held senior design and development roles and was instrumental in Wellington’s cultural rebuild and Civic Centre, but now specialises in design solutions of complex performance architecture in the public/civic domain for Council community clients.
Phil Conroy is a Director of Shand Shelton and specialises in theatre/performance engineering. He has been instrumental in the design and planning of all Shand Shelton theatre projects, and as a discrete Theatre Consultant to other practices.
He is responsible for the preparation of technical briefs, specialist budgets, documentation, procurement, and installation of the various theatre services packages with these venues.
More about Shand Shelton
While performance venues are appreciated by everyone, their design, construction and / or restoration has become a job for specialists. Such projects are some of the most complex buildings to design; it’s a multi-faceted process involving at the heart of the audience-actor relationship, translated into theatre geometry, number of seats, sight lines, acoustics, air quality, crowd circulation and operational imperative, all the while ensuring economic viability of the venue.
These and many other factors influence these complex three dimensional spaces and understanding them allows a specialist to integrate services and technology as duality between the audience and performers is developed. It requires a fundamental understanding of repertory and the other conflicting demands of the different performance genres. This ability to translate performance requirements into a design brief for others to follow and turn into building elements has become the speciality of Shand Shelton with our reputation being built on a series of successful restorations and new theatre designs.
We design specialist theatre systems that support the performances, reconfigures the stage and auditorium for different types of events, while helping keep the workplace safe for performers and technicians. Not surprisingly, the specialist theatre systems demands much from the building’s structure and mechanical systems, from stage machinery, rigging, lighting, sound and communications, to video, projection and acoustics.
Live performance is evolving into new forms, with technology being the catalyst for these, demanding a commitment to innovation and theatricality. This is equally relevant to new or refurbished buildings, to small or large venues. Buildings must allow for future growth. Complementary with its specialist design skills, Shand Shelton is known for its meticulous financial management of its projects. Their return clients can confirm that they take ‘on time and on budget’, literally. All of their projects, predominately for Trusts or Councils, have been achieved within challenging time constraints and equally difficult funding environments with very tight budgets.
With robust cost control systems their most cost effective projects have also been where they have both managed the project as well as designed the venue. We are committed to live performance for live audiences and what is needed to make a successful venue and have the knowledge backed by the track record to implement the build.