The Presbyterian Ladies College’s new Performing Arts Centre creates drama through its design, with undulating timber-clad walls, vast light wells and voids that penetrate the interior from the building’s roof.
From the architect:
The interior of PLC’s Performing Arts Centre has been designed to perform like a vibrant urban streetscape with a series of circulation pathways, corridors, interconnected stairs and meeting hubs, centred round the main auditorium space and associated recital and drama areas- the literal and metaphorical heart of the Centre.
Light, colour and semiotics play key roles in the building’s interior, serving emotive, aesthetic and practical purposes. Colour and materials are used as elements to assist with orientation throughout the levels of the building and to lend a distinct identity to each Performing Arts environment. Vast light wells and voids penetrate deep into the interior of the building from the roof, providing light and further distinctive features amongst the urban streetscape.
The heart of the building is its auditorium. The design of this space 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 undulating form of the timber battened walls and ceilings are aligned to achieve optimum reflection angles for sound from the stage into the audience seating area.
The most important aspect of the development is the performing arts spaces, their adequacy, sightlines and acoustics. All three are effectively boxes within boxes, isolated from the outside world and the ground to minimise noise and vibration transfer.