Rooty Hill Performing Arts Centre
Rooty Hill, NSW
Hailed as a future cultural icon for Sydney’s west, this major new performing arts centre is being built by Rooty Hill RSL as the west’s answer to the Opera House. It features a 2000-seat proscenium arch theatre with two tiers of raked auditorium seating, that can be reconfigured for a variety of uses – including stage shows, ballets, large musicals, concerts and symphony orchestra.
The structure consists of a concrete frame up to level 2, with a braced steel-framed structure over the auditorium, northern plantroom and fly tower. The flowing façade comprises precast concrete panels and cladding in lightweight materials, with a design inspired to represent aspects of a stage curtain. Situated across the road from Rooty Hill RSL, the facility has no street level entrance of its own, but is connected via a pedestrian air bridge from the main club. Civil works include access road, car-parking, pavement, public domain works, and stormwater services, including water-sensitive urban design.
The project presents a number of design challenges that require creative and a-typical engineering solutions. Achieving a minimal amount of columns in the foyer area involves the use of fire-rated steel hangers for slabs, and long-span steel trusses to the auditorium. Stability for the link bridge entails supporting the precast facade above the wide opening of the building and around the northern atrium and is achieved with a curved steel façade truss concealed behind the precast concrete. Close collaboration with architects and geotechnical experts addressed complexities of acoustics requirements, and construction on reactive clay soils.