Star of the Sea College, Brighton, VIC
Looking back at one of the first buildings to use Alspec’s ecoWALL 225 structural framing system.
Over the last decade hundreds of performances have been enjoyed by thousands of spectators within this performing arts centre, one of the first buildings to feature Alspec’s ecoWALL 225 structural framing system. Completed in 2011, the arts facility at the Star of the Sea College in Brighton used the innovative front glazed panel system to create the wrap-around glass enclosed facade.
The four-level multi-purpose building includes a 400-seat auditorium space, which can be used for drama, music, gymnastics and dance performances, as well as giving students the chance to learn stage management, set design and lighting.
The building design has at its core the central auditorium which still has access to natural light. It is surrounded by the glass-enclosed foyer areas and supporting facilities, with all available space put to good use. For example, stairways adjacent to the foyer areas serve the dual purpose of providing tiered seating for less formal student performances or meetings. Meanwhile the “wings” of the stage on the auditorium’s perimeter can be used for dressing rooms or backstage areas, as well as classrooms.
As a complete structural framing system, ecoWALL 225 flush glazed framing was ideal to construct the wide glass window-box area which surrounds the central auditorium, creating the spacious foyer areas. EcoWALL 225 is specifically designed for constructing large open spaces such as this, given it can remove the need for additional steel framing supports. The use of reinforced subheads and mullion anti-buckling technology creates an exceptionally strong framing system, while self-draining sub-sills prevent water ingress.
To provide access points throughout the centre, Swan Evo 45mm Commercial Doors were used. Their reputation for robust construction and performance in the commercial environment made them well-suited to the anticipated high use of the college’s arts centre. The Swan Evo doors feature a stronger sash and custom clamping spigot set which give them their durability and easily interact with a range of Alspec framing systems.
Since opening nearly ten years ago, the centre has been continuously well-utilised, proving an effective addition to the learning environment. It plays an ongoing and important role in the college’s arts curriculum, providing the opportunity for aspiring performers to learn and practice their craft.