Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Outwardly focused and inviting, the building balances the singular concentration required of students with the camaraderie of engaging with others. The building is a place to rub shoulders with fellow music students, and the artistic milieu of the wider campus and precinct.
Numerous vantage points in the conservatorium allow for appreciating the inner workings of music teaching. The learning and rehearsal spaces are interspersed with bell-shaped portholes, hinged panels and disguised windows that generously exhibit the activity within. The largest of these apertures is the oculus window located on the ground floor into the orchestral rehearsal space, which offers passers-by a glimpse into the inner realm of music education.
“In this latest addition to Melbourne’s arts precinct, a sensuous architectural vessel supports musical learning as it mediates between the performer, her fellowship, her audience and the city. Camaraderie and dialogue, intrigue and curiosity, are here endorsed as vital to the acquisition of knowledge...”
Maryam Gusheh, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Architecture Australia Magazine
"A deliberate sensory expression is adopted... the inclusion of elegantly detailed seating and communal zones promote social engagement and connectivity."
Jury Citation - Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture
Unlike The Enraged Musician — Willliam Hogarth’s 1741 depiction of a conflict between a musician in the parlour of his private home and urbanites whose home is the street — the new conservatorium encourages curiosity and interaction between the musician and their community.
"...a marvellous two-way theatrical experience between artist and passer-by that will continue to intrigue for years to come."
Jury Citation - Award for Educational Architecture
"...the conservatorium extends JWA’s pursuit of craftsmanship and refined detail through the use of pre-cast concrete and the individual application of 66,000 ceramic tiles, arranged in pattern suggestive of musical notation.”
Fleur Watson & Martyn Hook, AD Magazine (London)
This article originally appeared on johnwardlearchitects.com