Corpus Christi College – Caroline Payne Theatre

  • area / size 15,931 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Location Perth, Australia,
  • EIW Architects designed the Caroline Payne Theatre as a statement on the Corpus Christi College campus in Perth, Australia.

    Corpus Christi College is a Catholic co-educational secondary college in Perth, Western Australia.

    To complement the existing performing arts facilities; EIW has created a purpose built Theatre for students to display their creative talents in dance, drama and music; to learn and empower confidence in performing, to present a full theatrical experience within a professional environment.

    The Theatre commands a major statement to the public, whilst oriented clearly towards the campus internally. Pathways from various buildings and levels on the site have informed the final design in enabling a clarity of access for students and visitors alike. These pathways also provide student social spaces and outdoor learning opportunities. The use of extensive glazing to the foyer provides a transparency and volume that grounds the Theatre in its context. The form encompasses clean lines and simple geometry, allowing for carefully detailed and quality features for the user experience, incorporating cost effective external materials that build a textural playfulness and complement the existing buildings on campus.

    The project becomes the final part of the development of the public face of the College on the eastern campus precinct and nestled into an existing hill to utilise the typography in transitioning between three adjacent buildings, whilst ensuring the scale of the building is not imposing on the amenity of residences opposite and mechanical plant was housed away from neighbours.

    A theatre is unique to each client, in this case it needed to be a statement about the College with the goal of maximising learning opportunities. It incorporates exemplary digital technology that embraces the brief for all students to have opportunities to perform, from the high quality performers, to the special education students and those working on digital set design. It is a facility that lives out the Corpus Christi College inclusive values, at the same time as being striking and elegant.

    Notable features include:

    • Multi-functional orchestra pit allowing for 3 variations: orchestra / pit level; audience level for additional temporary seating; and stage level allowing for a thrust stage
    • Bespoke acoustic Tasmanian Oak panels creating a pitch perfect experience for both performer and audience, no matter the performance mode
    • Contemporary Corpus Christi College branding from burgundy carpet, mahogany stained doors, lava red Alucobond and architect/artist designed bespoke statement LED neon logo

    EIW utilised texture and tone throughout the design and in the material choice. A combination of Equitone ‘Linea’ and flat profiles, cut into a triangular pattern on the fa├žade, gives a unique texture to the theatre. Transparency into the foyer celebrates the user experience and lightens the bulk of the building. Tasmanian Oak, in both hardwood format and veneer, from timber slats, lapped timber, to perforations and angular acoustics panels, provide a multitude of opportunities to explore the depth of the material. Key areas in the theatre also featured Tasmanian Oak with a stained finish, incorporating the rich Corpus Christi College burgundy branding into the design.

    Design: EIW Architects
    Photography: Silvertone Photography