VISION Issue 4 | Page 6

7 Vision Magazine “IT TOOK 18 MONTHS OF REFINEMENT FOR AN ABSOLUTELY DISTILLED, SHARPLY FOCUSED RESULT THAT NEEDED TO MEET SOME PRETTY DEMANDING DESIGN REGULATIONS AND REACT WELL TO A BRILLIANT SITE.” Chris Hose, Design Director E stablished in 1971, the Catholic Ladies College (CLC) owes a greater debt to suburban bricks and mortar than mud brick cottages, or French provincial chateaux. CLC’s new Performing Arts and Religious Centre steps confidently from these two shadows. First impressions are vital and the new centre heralds students and visitors with a contemporary wave rather than tired pastiche. Until the centre’s completion, a dour ’70s brick gymnasium block provided a blank greeting and poor first impression. Design director Chris Hose and his team have shaped a vibrant, defining ‘entrance’ building. Its presence sets a whole new standard gateway to the school. The project’s dual need as chapel and musical performance centre could have easily led to a design muddle. The project needed to express dignity and calm while promising a highperformance recital space. Chapel and sacristry, seating for 220, a wish list of tutorial rooms and other assorted support spaces convincingly absorbed under one roof. No easy task. The environmentally sensitive site occupies a steep landscaped embankment that separates the school buildings from the lower sports ovals. The solution is subordinate and supportive of function. The soft grey metal clad box has key openings to the east-facing projection across the playing fields and south-facing visitor approach. Steel cladding and glass combine a real modernity that fully connects with landscape and sky. Above Main performance and religious space on a north / south elevation allows main feature glazing to open fully to setting. Right Staggered glazing across two levels breaks convention of standard grid with added flexibility to open and permit cross ventilation. Masterclass