Location: Lyneham ACT, Australia
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Ben Wrigley - Photohub
The Lyneham Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) is an acoustically engineered, purpose built facility that houses the day-to-day operations of the music department of Lyneham High School, as well as providing a rehearsal and performance space for the local community.
Lyneham High School is an inner city state school in Canberra, Australia which is renowned for its performing arts programs. The School has a strong culture of music with 470 students enrolled in the Band Program, 120 students in the Musical Theatre Program and a total of 750 students participating in music activities and classes.
The initial design brief asked for a new band practice room, teaching and support spaces and refurbishment of the existing school hall to enhance its use as a performance space. After reviewing the brief, HBO+EMTB established that a new purpose built facility for music and performance could be provided within the budget. This space could then be designed with exceptional acoustics that would complement activities in the main hall and ancillary spaces.
The Lyneham Performing Arts Centre features a 300-seat auditorium with stadium seating, keyboard laboratory, classroom, staff room and five practice rooms, as well as numerous outdoor performances areas.
The key technological component of the building is its use of precast sandwich panels which have fully enclosed insulated cores. Mass is kept to the inside of the sandwich for thermal and acoustic benefits. Custom designed faceting to the interior surface creates appropriate reverberation time and distribution of sound. The ceiling and lighting of the performance space is designed for easy access from a standard platform. The mechanical services are contained in fabric ducts which deflate when not in use and blend with the theatre curtains and equipment.
The music teaching room is surrounded on two sides by fully insulated, sound isolated practice rooms. This allows a music class to split into six individual groups and practice their parts and then return to the central space for a combined practice. This arrangement effectively insulates the classroom and the adjacent spaces.
Since opening earlier this year, the School has had an increased number of students choosing music as an elective. Teaching and learning outcomes have improved for the whole School by having a separate purpose built facility for music courses. A culture of lunch time concerts has developed and local music groups have flourished as they can now access a local professional music space.