- Builder :Building Engineering
- Landscape Architect:Formium
- Acoustic Consultant :Arups Engineers
- Civil & Structural Consultant:Cardno
- Building Surveyor:BSGM
- Services Consultant :NDY
- Lighting Consultant:Christopher Boot
- Graphic Art:Kinart
- Planner :Contour
- Arborist:Galbraith & Associates
- Client:St Kevin’s College
- Project Team:David Chandler, Steven Cortese, Loris Rebeschini, Marina Potter, Sophie Russell, Sherman Tan
Text description provided by the architects. St Kevin’s College had outgrown its existing music centre’s on their Glendalough Junior campus. The brief called for a new facility to meet the needs of its growing music program for both junior and senior students from their Heyington campus and to be accessible to the school community for performances and gatherings.
The site is narrow and steep, bounded by residential apartments to the west and the college hall to the east. The design gives consideration to these and other constraints providing a response that addresses issues of visual bulk, scale, interest in the streetscape and acoustic separation to the neighbours. The need to provide a safe and equitable access for all from both the school and public side was addressed through the creation of a central gallery promenade for gathering and informal performances. Two portals connect the school entry to the public entry.
The music centre provides a large recital and rehearsal space with a listening gallery, whilst a range of small and medium spaces provide opportunity for individual and group practice for various instruments.
The external architectural expression of the new music centre consist of a robust palette of materials, responding to the college’s adjacent sports hall clad in charcoal zinc and taking cues from the architectural heritage of St Kelvin’s Monastery in Ireland with its solid granite construction and small slit windows, the latter of which is achieved with triple glazed windows providing improved acoustic and thermal performance. Through the consistent use of materials the Music centre integrates into the composition of buildings forming the college’s public face on to Lansell road.
In contrast the interiors are inviting with walls and ceilings clad in Victorian Ash; like a musical instrument the spaces are detailed and sculpted to be warm and textural with timber chosen for its beauty and acoustic property. The interior detailing of the acoustic ceiling makes further reference to exterior facades with its block patterning. Graphics have been used to celebrate the life of Alumni Victor McMahon. “Advance Australia Fair” has been represented on the stairwell to provide a ‘sense of belonging' and an opportunity to learn music outside designed spaces.
A new Oratory has been created as a place of personal reflection within. One enters the oratory through a compressed space into a small high ceiling space. Except for a solitary gold and black mosaic composition that celebrates St Kevin, the space is clad in bluestone to create a monastic feel. Two small openings bring in light. One to the west provides ambient light through the day whilst a slit window wrapping from wall to roof provides a dramatic shaft of light that marks the time of day, the shaft of light falls on the mosaic on the morning of 3rd June every year- St Kevin’s Feast Day.