Client : Curtin University
SITE was engaged for the Project Definition (PDP) stage of the project.
The Elizabeth Jolley and Tim Winton Theatre Precinct are considered an important teaching and student hub bridging Academic Central and the Creative Quarter of the campus and providing the main western gateway into the Corso.
Curtin University engaged SITE to define an extension to the Tim Winton Theatre Foyer and refurbishment of the theatres to cater to events and industry partnerships focus and to develop a new landscaped cultural precinct around the existing Rob Riley walk, Carralup Collection Gallery, and Centre for Aboriginal Studies.
The primary project objective was to extend the existing Theatre foyer to cater to a variety of pre and post-function events for hosting industry engagement as the primary project objective. Secondary objectives include enhancing the teaching and learning experience to this area of the campus, enhancing the identity and character of the precinct as a western entry gateway to the Campus, and to address ongoing maintenance issues.
Our approach to the project was to consider the importance of the Rob Riley Walk and the cultural importance of the greater precinct within the Academic Heart master Plan as a key project driver. The place is an intersection of a culturally important Groundwater Aquifer within an underground stream network and traditional Songlines which passing through the Precinct. This was used as a key driver for SITE to enhance and strengthen the unique cultural identity of the Precinct through building design, materiality, landscape, wayfinding, and art/interpretive elements.
SITE managed an integrated process that included a detailed investigation into the existing condition, functional layouts, and constraints into each of the 5 lecture theatres and defining opportunities to refurbish, reconfigure and amend the existing spatial arrangements to accommodate new and varied configurations, changing brief and functional requirements.
The process involved extensive research and engagement with the Universities many different stakeholders from different departments including services, access & inclusion, public realm making, landscape, and planning.
SITE’s process of enquiry, site investigation, and deeper understanding revealed the opportunity to explore development options beyond the initial brief, where the proposed solution was to extend and refurbish the Elizabeth Jolley Foyer in lieu of Tim Winton. After our assessment and life cycle cost analysis of the existing facilities, an extensive cost-benefit analysis revealed the redevelopment of the nearly 30-year-old Elizabeth Jolley Theatre would provide the most immediate and long term benefit to the University.