Completing a composition of buildings in the historic Treasury / Cathedral precinct in Perth, the Cadogan Song School by conservation practice Palassis Architects was built to provide facilities for the St.Georges Cathedral choir. Showing off sculptural vaulted arches and a tuning fork-like spire, the Song School received a National Award in the Heritage category of the 2018 National Australian Architecture Awards earlier this month.
At 200 square meters, the Cadogan Song School is a two-story structure made of glass and concrete. Inspired by cathedral lancet windows, its dramatic vaulted arches create a visual balance of old and new among the existing buildings surrounding it, which includes the St. George’s Cathedral, Burt Memorial Hall, Church House, and the Deanery. The Song School was partially built underground to minimize its footprint and to preserve views of the historic precinct.
The Song School's interior features a vaulted hall whose forms refer to the classical underground crypt typically found in cathedrals.
“The school sits within the foundations of the cathedral and Burt Memorial Hall, allowing the program to make a considered impact on the visual definition of the eastern elevations,” the jury commented.
“The jury was impressed by the architects’ consideration of form, use and material at the scale of the precinct and the city as well as at the intimate scale of the oak-lined singing hall,” the jury citation says. “The Cadogan Song School inserts a lyrical set of forms that are in keeping with the built heritage of the precinct while clearly enunciating a contemporary place for heavenly song.”
All photos courtesy of 2018 National Australian Architecture Awards.
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