Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre Design Competition

State VIC
Client Whitehorse City Council
Competition EOI and Single Stage Design Competition
Winner BKK + KTA + Aspect Studio
Ben Hewett Deputy Government Architect, GANSW
Cr Bill Bennett Mayor, Whitehorse City Council
Donald Bates Chair of Architectural Design & Associate Dean, University of Melbourne
Geoffrey London Professor of Architecture, UWA
Jocelyn Chiew Campus Design Manager, Monash University
Melanie Smith Director, Performing Arts Centre Melbourne
Noelen Duff CEO, Whitehorse City Council

The Competition
Whitehorse City Council held an architectural competition to assist in the transforming of the Whitehorse Centre in Nunawading, CityLab was the Competition Advisor for the two stage design competition.

The Competition process was developed to meet Whitehorse City Council’s vision of a highly accessible, flexible and contemporary venue that will meet the diverse and changing needs of community, users and patrons. The new centre will provide an expanded array of performing arts, functions and festival opportunities for generations to come.

The Brief
The Brief called for a design which would transform the site and provide a contemporary theatre, festival and function centre. Whitehorse City Council wanted a result that provides a quality, safe, well presented and fully utilised venue for use with a range of services for attendees.

The Brief aimed to guide designs towards an outcome that  would be welcoming for the youngest to oldest members of the community.

The Winner
The combined architectural and landscape strategy is both efficient and sympathetic to the existing landscape, while delivering a building with a bold sense of civic identity.

The winning design carefully considers the relationship between the building and the site. The strategy to use the building as a means to frame and define distinct landscape settings, much of which already exists, helps to consolidate the opportunity of the new Performing Arts Centre.