Architecture Auditorium in Alice


Received a Regional Award for Architecture - 25th October 2013

Auditorium in Alice done while working for NOA Architects

To highlight some of the aspects of the building:

  • Purpose-made design, 350 seater Auditorium, incorporating Multipurpose Break-Away Room, Entrance Foyer and Toilets.
  • Acoustically engineered Auditorium Space

World-class Information + Technology Systems, including:

  • Wireless Network + Internet Connections serving the entire building
  • Power connections for every user
  • Video Conferencing Facility with Large LED screens
  • Smart Board Interactive Screens
  • Hi Definition Large Screen Projectors
  • Fingerprint Access Control and Video Security Systems

Sustainable aspects of the building include:

  • Correct Building Orientation
  • Natural and Forced Ventilation - no air conditioning
  • Natural Diffused South Light
  • Dedicated Building Management System to control specific lighting requirements
  • As many light fittings as possible will be fitted with LEDs and the rest as Energy Saving Lamps and Controls
  • Thermally and Acoustically Insulated
  • Timber for the seating is harvested from managed and sustainable resources
  • Reduced Energy Polished Concrete Floors
  • Waterless Urinals and Water Saving Toilets
  • Reinstating 235m² of Landscaping to previously paved areas
  • Retaining the 5 existing trees on site
  • Creating a landscaped courtyard between the New Auditorium and the existing Agricultural Building.

Award of Merit citation

When architects do their job really well, they usually achieve buildings and spaces with a quiet sense of ‘rightness’ about them. When the observer or visitor steps into the shoes of the architect, even for a brief moment, and allows him- or herself to become acquainted with the logic the architect developed and applied in the design of a building - respect for their accomplishment usually follows. The design logic of the architects of this building is immediately and directly clear for visitors and observers alike.

All auditoriums need to follow certain parameters in order for them to properly fulfill their functions. They are also highly serviced spaces. Their expense needs to be optimised by means of frequency of use (crucially important at any university), and sensibility needs to be applied as to the level and sophistication of services, since it is easy to pitch these incorrectly. In reality, the demands placed on the budget by these technical necessities can be such that not much budget remains for the building itself. In all of this, a careful balancing act is usually required. It is also critically important to get the basics right.

The above is what has been achieved with this auditorium.The balance between building envelope and technical requirements ensures that the auditorium fulfills, in an excellent manner, all the basic requirements. The design of the building is efficient without any superfluous elements, while it respects and complements its built and natural environment. It connects logically with existing infrastructure and its detailing has a direct quality.

The generous way that the foyer space opens up to the views of the building’s natural surroundings is a thoughtful antidote to the weariness that can result from attending lectures. The most memorable aspect of the building is, quite rightly, the interior of the auditorium. This is a space that should, in principle, enable continuous concentration on, and involvement in, the educational experience. The auditorium is also shaped in such a way that the audience can interact with one another in an easy manner; creating a much more personal and social experience when it is in use. Overall the crisp, tranquil and well-considered detail and layout of this building enables the space to be positively memorable.