All Saints College Centre for Performing Arts. Parry and Rosenthal Architects

Following success in a limited design competition, Parry and Rosenthal Architects were commissioned to design a new Performing Arts Theatre for All Saints’ College in Bull Creek, Western Australia. After extensive research and collaboration with the College, a detailed brief was developed for a new theatre that would support the College’s Performing Arts program, provide a community facility for the Arts, and serve as a public statement that would reflect the quality education objectives of this prestigious private College.

The building is located on the edge of the campus so that it is accessible to the community after hours. It opens up to the south to optimise diffuse natural light and is screened on the west, road side with stone blade walls. These blades protect the building from the harsh westerly sun, traffic noise and prevent overlooking of the neighbours. The double height glazing and timber fins at the entry lobby create a transparent, warm, and welcoming face to the building. This, combined with a high canopy, provides a civic presence with a generous, sheltered space for the community to gather.

The perimeter support facilities are stepped down with the existing levels of the site so the large volume of the central auditorium is not apparent from the street. The forms and materials used throughout have been selected for their quality and timelessness and, although different, complement the existing College. The white colonnade columns reflect the white chapel cross adjacent, the travertine stonework, and warm timber visually connect with the cream brick walls and terracotta tiles used throughout the College.

The heart of the building is the auditorium. Its form is shaped by the acoustic design, as well as the requirements for clear audience sightlines, flexible stage configurations, and the desire for intimacy and quality. The angle of the walls and ceilings are aligned to achieve optimum reflection angles for sound from the stage into the audience seating area. The pivoting stage wings and moveable proscenium allow the auditorium and stage to become a single space in orchestra mode or a theatre with side wings and proscenium arch in theatre and dance mode. The hydraulic thrust stage and a flying mid stage border allow further flexibility of use. The auditorium is lined inside and out with a warm timber, like that of a cello.

The theatre is recognised as one of the best performing arts venues in Western Australia with the theatre also being used by the local community, symphony orchestras, as well as world renowned musicians for practice, recording, and performances.

This project is the recipient of:

2009 Design Competition Winner
2013 Australian Institute of Architects Award, Category: Interiors
2013 Australian Institute of Architects Award, Category: Public Architecture
2013 Master Builders Excellence in Construction Award, Category: Best Educational Building
2013 Master Builders Excellence in Construction Award, Category: Finishes
2013 Finalist in the Master Builders Excellence in Construction Award- Best Building in WA