Performing Arts Centre JPC

Putting the joy in educational architecture

Project Details

Location: Location: St John Paul College, Nicholls ACT

Lead Architect: Jaquelin Howard, Andrew Collins

Completion: 2014

Builder: Richard Crookes Constructions

Awards: Enrico Taglietti Award for Educational Architecture, ACT Architecture Awards 2015

John Paul College Performing Arts Centre wing is an extension of the established circulation axis of the school. It is a facility that provides a high level multi-function theatre space for up to 270 people, multiple flexible classroom spaces for music, drama and dance, and a separate public entry space. 

The Performing Arts Centre is the college’s ‘showcase’, creating an identity for the college while also creating a place where parents and friends can gather. As a design response, it was important to offset the large solid form of the theatre with a tactile element which could relate to the human scale. The curved precast concrete wall becomes the defining element.  It signifies the public entry and is both clearly interpreted from a distance and embracing when viewed intimately.



Internally, the curved wall holds a significant presence within the Foyer. As you follow the curve from a double height space towards the theatre entry doors, you are overcome with a sense of compression and diffusion of light. This feeling is exaggerated by floating the concrete over a narrow strip of glazing, and opposing the curve with a tessellated ceiling leading to the theatre entry.