Latrobe Creative Precinct & Gippsland Performing Arts Centre
Latrobe City Council
In late 2017, Jackson Architecture and Katsieris Origami were appointed Principal Design Consultant for the Latrobe Creative Precinct.
The project includes a new 750 seat Performing Arts Centre and the repurposing of the existing Performing Arts Centre as a Creative Industries Centre.
Vision: Connecting Past, Present & Future
Our vision for the project draws upon the Latrobe Valley’s rich timber history and in partnership with local industry, creates an exemplar precinct of iconic timber construction. It showcases a new era of engineered timber capability, imagination, production and construction in the region.
Forest as Metaphor
The new Gippsland Performing Arts Centre symbolically communicates the idea of the forest as a unique design metaphor. In this way, both the history and future of the Latrobe Valley, as a place of timber production, become linked in the public imagination. The design of abstracted ‘tree’ structures in engineered timber and a ‘variegated forest canopy’ with structural cross laminated timber in the main foyer, create a welcoming and accessible space.
Adaptive Re-use: Creative Industries Centre
The Creative Industries Centre makes ideal re-use of the existing Performing Arts Centre, transforming two large and one small auditorium into flexible studio-style teaching spaces for ballet, sculpture, the visual arts and other creative pursuits. Flexible furniture allows spaces to be reconfigured for focused teaching or collaboration, encouraging interaction.
Precinct Landscape & Outdoor Rooms
A key component of the design is the network of open spaces that weave between the buildings and throughout the site. External open spaces work together in both public event mode as well as being readily understood, attractive and safe public spaces for everyday use by the community. A series of outdoor urban rooms, each with their own distinct character, these spaces come together to create a greater narrative.
Occupying a large central block in Traralgon, the project also includes a new public plaza, an outdoor stage and the integration of Traralgon’s Public Library.
Through its unique architectural expression, the project creates a dynamic and exciting precinct, establishing Traralgon as the major cultural hub in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland region.
Access & Movement through the Precinct
A fundamental aim of the project was to create public pedestrian accessway through the site. The diagonal public concourse creates a 24 hour north-south link connecting the new public plaza at Kay Street to the open public event space.
The new public plaza, created through the careful erasure of part of the existing library, establishes the primary entrance for the new Gippsland Performing Arts Centre. It also mediates the scale of the new build with its context.
Symbolism & the Regional Economy
The design is predicated on the idea that the project represents a unique moment in the Latrobe Valley’s history and an opportunity to communicate a new spirit for the region through the symbolic use timber.
The use of engineered timber, supplied by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) located in Heyfield (about 40 minutes north of Traralgon), offers a built demonstration of current and future timber engineering industries in the Latrobe Valley region.
In collaboration with Katsieris Origami.