John Vallance Recital Hall

Largely underground, the 1500 seat hall lies at the heart of the school providing external, landscaped, shaded and covered circulation and playground spaces.

Seating 1500 people for concerts and assemblies, the venue provides a flat floored area for examinations and a regulation sized basketball court with substantial landscaping on the roof.

The facility was built from the top down to allow students’ use of their playground whilst construction activities continued underneath, an innovative approach to building on a highly sensitive and constrained site.

The materials palette is quintessentially Sydney and reflects the unique construction process. The hall has exposed bedrock, a distinctive addition to the school and Sydney’s complement performance venues.

Technically the hall provides a high level of functional amenity; excellent sightlines and acoustics for musical performances, variable acoustics to suit a diversity of performance types; good speech intelligibility for assemblies and the facility for video projection and recording. Overall the hall achieves a reverberation time suitable for large scale 19th and 20th century orchestral works.

Utilising the thermal stability of an excavation in rock the mechanical systems are designed to maximise exposure of intake air to the bedrock by way of a ‘thermal labyrinth’ to temper supply air.

John Vallance Recital Hall A5 Booklet