Judges commented, “The Lighthouse Cinema Cuba makes a vital and seamless contribution to Wigan Street, one of the Cuba precinct’s hidden gems. The design and material selections reference light and sound effects of the movies; the exterior cladding and glazing incorporate secret design messages. This is an inviting interior that plays with spatial volume, fabric textures and a sense of individuality, where quirky details never overwhelm the integrity of the whole.”

This site was the result of years of searching and had been a condemned 1890’s brick stables that last saw service as a “chop shop” just prior to the demolition. The clients had developed art-house cinemas at Petone and Pauatahanui and sought to break into the Wellington scene on their own terms. The secret of their success has been their friendly, family-run feel and comfortable home made interiors with lots of timber and warm finishes “Everything Readings is, we are not.”

Their brief was simple and clear: keep the budget low, maintain the Lighthouse warmth and unique mood but give us something that has the Cuba street vibe.

Awash with texture and colour, the lobby is a refuge from the weather and the real world one leaves when experiencing a movie. Contrasting with the mall-styles of many cinemas, here we provided an intimate place to meet, linger, have a craft beer or chocolate ice cream before being invited one of into the three auditoriums, each with a unique interior palette.



Winner: NZIA Resene Local Architecture Award 2013 (Commercial)

Published In:

Urbis Magazine    Word on the Street    The Wellingtonista    

Lucire    Scoop     The Localist

John Mills Architects

21 Garrett Street,
Te Aro, Wellington 6011
+64 4 385 2255
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