Latrobe City Council
4,850 m2 (excluding basement)
Grove of Trees within Prismatic Volumes
Jackson Architecture & Katsieris Origami:
Architects in Association
The new Gippsland Performing Arts Centre is to be the centrepiece of the Latrobe Creative Precinct in the Victorian city of Traralgon. Katsieris Origami are Design Directors for the project having won the architectural competition together with our project partners, Jackson Architecture. The centre will comprise a 750 seat proscenium theatre with full fly-tower, stalls and balcony, orchestra pit with lifting platform, sub-stage trappable area and performer's facilities. The complex also incorporates a series of conference and meeting room suites with ancillary public areas and foyers to further extend the utility of the building. External areas have been woven into the design to provide handsome public events and community gathering spaces.
A key part of the building's construction utilises local industry in the fabrication and assembly of large, glue-laminated (Glulam) timber structures. These are the abstracted, tree-like structural support systems used in the foyer areas. The symbolic cluster of trees in the foyer was proposed by us to recall the traditional, continuing importance of trees to the region. We also wanted to allude to the proud heritage of giant timber constructions that the Latrobe Valley and surrounding mountain regions once had. These vast landscapes were once dotted with majestic timber trestle bridges, tall aqueducts, and steep incline winch-tramways all constructed of local timbers. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the abundance of strong, dense Victorian hardwoods combined with a deep knowledge of the material, led to the construction of these impressive, heroic but somehow forgotten structures.
We hope that in some way, the design of this project can herald a new, emerging, and sustainable mass-timber fabrication expertise and capacity in the Latrobe Valley and eastern Victoria.
The building and its surrounding open spaces are currently under construction with completion due by late 2021.