The building opens to the south to optimise diffuse natural light and is screened on the west with stone blade walls. This protects the building from the harsh westerly sun and prevents overlooking of the neighbours. 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. The building is located on the edge of the campus so that it is accessible to the community after hours.
The surrounding support facilities are stepped down with the existing levels of the site so the scale of the auditorium is not apparent from the street. The forms and materials used throughout have been selected for their quality and timelessness and to 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. It’s form is the result of 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.
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