Star of the Sea Performing Arts Centre

Star of the Sea Performing Arts Centre

The 2000m² New Performing Arts Centre at Star of the Sea College, Gardenvale blurs the boundary between traditional theatre and contemporary performance space.

The 424 seat multi-purpose auditorium space is departure from the traditional ‘black box’. It has the ability to transition quickly from an acoustic and light isolated theatre for orchestral performance and productions to a bright naturally lit space for gymnastics and dance.

It promotes the use of ‘in-between’ spaces; the lower ground stair becomes tiered seating for student performances, the spacious foyers become areas for house meetings/ assemblies, the lineal stage wings of the auditorium can be configured to become dressing rooms, even the ground level classrooms can become the ‘back-stage’ areas linked via audio and visual media.

The architecture expresses the solid ‘box’ of the auditorium wrapped by a delicate glass form that reflects the chapel and convent opposite. The link between the old and the new is reinforced at ground level with window boxes that frame views of these buildings.

The four levels including a mezzanine adopt natural ventilation via automated louvres and a specially designed ventilation system combining external air intake with an internal timber ventilation box that wraps the first floor perimeter and doubles as a seat for students.

The Performing Arts Centre provides a space where students can learn ways to implement sustainable design principles into their daily lives, from something as simple as opening a window to understanding the innovative function of an automated natural air ventilation box.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

Star of the Sea College
Gardenvale, VIC
Floor area
3200 m²
Original value


  • Bayside Built Environment Awards - Best New Building (non-residential) 2011
  • MBA Award Special Commendation 2012 - Construction of Commercial Buildings $5m-$10m

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