Centenary Heights SHS Performing Arts Centre by Biscoe Wilson | architects

Centenary Heights Performing Arts Centre

Winner of the 2020 Downs & Western Project of the Year

QMBA Education Facilities up to $10 million

Judges’ Comments:

“An incredible amount of detail contained within this impressive building makes this entry stand out. The end product presents a fully functional school facility with an attractive and detailed facade. The performance space with retractable seating and the ability to be separated into various areas by full height acoustic walls makes this building highly flexible in its use.”  

“A modern, tech savvy project. High quality design and construction completed within a live school environment. Additional complexity with WHS requirements and innovative use of materials and slide away partitions in theatre area. Great addition to this State High School.”

 “The building undertaken was a great design and the quality was second to none.

Biscoe Wilson Architects were engaged by the Department of Education to design and document the new Performing Arts Centre (PAC) at Centenary Heights, and the refurbishments to Centenary Heights’ existing art rooms and the senior hospitality building. Together, this will provide for the increased capacity needed for Centenary Heights in 2020.

We worked closely with Farr Engineers to develop a structural system that would enable fast construction. The post tensioned concrete suspended floors and precast concrete walls enable the main structure to be erected with minimal disruption to the school.

The new PAC building is located centrally to the school and accessed directly from Ramsay Street. The Performing Arts Centre provides specialised spaces for dance, drama, music and film, bringing together a holistic concert of self-expression and art to support and enhance one-another. Internally, the design provides flexibility for teaching and performing drama and dance. The stage area can be divided into separate teaching areas, or opened with operable walls into a single large stage and seating area suitable for a 300 person audience. The stage is facilitated by the backstage, loading dock, change rooms, ample storage, retractable seating and bio box. The wedge spaced section provides an increased height over the stage to cater for stage lighting, curtains, props and mechanical ductwork. Ceiling heights ranging from 7 to 10m provide opportunities for more dramatic spaces and proper theatre lighting. A front of house foyer with servery, amenities and outdoor foyer provides a welcoming entry and alternative function space.

Additionally, this new building provides a Head of Department office and staff rooms, two music rehearsal rooms, and upstairs a bio box, green room, digital equipment store and general learning areas.

Biscoe Wilson Architects assembled a specialist design team to insure that the PAC was designed for longevity, and would satisfy the various needs of the school and the community. This team included acoustic consultants, Acoustics Noise Vibration (ANV), and specialist theatre consultant, Design Stage. Our specialised team of consultants, aided by 3D computer modelling, enabled the understanding and control of sight-lines and acoustics, enhancing the opportunities for performances.

The Queensland Department of Education are dedicated to providing wonderful teaching facilities that support staff and students in a variety of curriculum areas. Buildings such as the new PAC at Centenary Heights are also invaluable for wider school and community functions, helping to foster a range of opportunities and activities.

To see the progress and design of this project, click here.

Architectural Team | Robert Biscoe, Graham Anderson, Marion Wilson, Joelie Clark, Winson Leung, Monique Pousson, Jessica Thurecht, Jas Stancombe

Builder and Photographer | Hutchinsons

Acoustic Consultant |  ANV

Theatre Consultant | Design Stage

Civil and Structural Engineers | Farr Engineers

Electrical, Mechanical and Hydraulic Engineers | DMA Engineers

Landscape Architect | Fred St Landscape