'Performative' brick arts centre for Canberra school


A proposed performing arts centre at a Canberra school has been designed in the language of the school’s existing red brick buildings.

Daramalan College is located in Dickson, Canberra, on the land of the Ngunnawal people, the school invited selected architects to prepare initial concept ideas for the new building in July 2020 and selected Stewart Architecture in mid-August.

Stewart Architecture’s design for the two-storey building includes a “performative” brick facade with colonnades and bleacher seating to the north. The building will accommodate a black box theatre with more than 150 seats, a drama studio, music teaching rooms and sound-insulated practice studios.

The design also intends to better connect the school with a nearby waterway. “Daramalan College has a northern boundary facing the Sullivan’s Creek drain of nearly half a kilometre,” said Stewart Architecture director Felicity Stewart. “There is an opportunity to transform the Dickson drain into a pedestrian and bicycle parkland, linking the new Dickson and Lyneham Wetlands. The new Performing Arts Centre has the potential to face onto this area, activating the public realm both day and night.”

The performing arts centre is expected to be complete in late 2022, in time for the school’s 60th anniversary.

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