Putting on a stage play or a concert can be a difficult undertaking: one that is beset with challenges and obstacles, but which inevitably results in applause.
EIW design architect Chloe Summers said she hoped her project, which was then still in construction, would wow its audience at its official opening, timed to coincide with the start of the school year.
With bold feature walls that showcase COLORBOND® steel Aries® in a Metallic finish on three sides, the Marist Auditorium is already attracting attention. It occupies one of the most visible locations at the school's Marcellin campus. "The performing arts centre sits on a prominent site on Empire Avenue, so we planned to provide a new contemporary face for the college," Ms Summers said. "We wanted to tie in the language of the existing buildings - which feature limestone colours and COLORBOND® steel in the colour Manor Red® - but with a contemporary palette."
Giving the building the right appearance was as important as casting the lead role in a play. The architects carried out a rigorous process of research and analysis before choosing COLORBOND® steel Aries® in a Metallic finish for the feature cladding, which makes up about 50 per cent of the total cladding, and is visible to passing motorists and students playing on the college oval behind the building.
"We went through quite a lengthy process to select a colour for the feature panels: we looked at products for their durability advantages and colour range," said EIW project architect Tony D'Andrea.
"Fortunately a member of the school's board - who also works for BlueScope - mentioned COLORBOND® steel Aries® in a Metallic finish to us as a potential material option for this project," Mr D'Andrea said. "We then worked with BlueScope and Kingspan to see if we could use the Aries® colour on the feature panels.
"With our mind set on COLORBOND® steel Aries® in a Metallic finish for the feature panels, we wanted to ensure that other facade materials wouldn't steal the limelight. Upfront construction cost and ongoing maintenance were strong considerations when resolving construction detailing," Mr D'Andrea continued.
This was the first time that building contractor PS Structures had installed Kingspan panels, according to project manager Vernon Houston. Mr Houston said that even before the building was fully commissioned, it was obvious that the Kingspan panels made from COLORBOND® steel offered very good thermal performance.
"Even during the last stages of construction when the building wasn't fully operational, you could appreciate the way the panels protected the building from heat load," he said. "When you walk into the foyer from the outside you can feel a distinct temperature change."
Kingspan area manager Russell Hann said the company was consulted early on in the design process and specified product according to the architects' goals. "EIW Architects were keen for the cladding to have a strong visual impact so we were delighted when they chose the colour Aries® in a Metallic finish from the COLORBOND® steel range," Mr Hann said.
"This was the first time we had supplied the colour into a project and it's turned out to be one of the best buildings we've ever done. It's a brilliant colour that's generating a lot of interest. I've since suggested to some other architects who were considering using the colour to go out to Newman College and they've all commented on how impressive it looks in the real world.
With the curtain about to go up on this challenging production, Design Architect Philip Idle said EIW Architects is very proud of this project. "It looks sophisticated without being ostentatious, it feels great inside - all the proportions have been carefully designed - and we were able to keep the look and feel clean and simple while tackling all those underlying complexities.
Principal steel products:
- Feature panels: Kingspan Evolution panels made from COLORBOND® steel in the colour Aries® in a Metallic finish.
- Auditorium panels: Kingspan Architectural Wall Panel System in Plank profile (KS1000 PL FM) in the colour Portico Grey.
- Stage panels: Kingspan Architectural Wall Panel System in Wave profile (KS1000 WV FM) in the colour Gull Grey.
- High level parapets: made from COLORBOND® steel Windspray® in a Classic finish in LYSAGHT PANELRIB® profile.
- Stage and auditorium roof: Administration roof: LYSAGHT KLIP-LOK CLASSIC 700® made from COLORBOND® steel Windspray® in a Classic finish.