Conservatorium in Adelaide hits all the right notes
The Elder Conservatorium has the longest history of any music school in Australia, stretching back 125 years. Many of Australia’s most renowned musicians are among its staff and alumni. Located in the city centre on Adelaide’s cultural boulevard, North Terrace, the Conservatorium is a vital part of the life of Adelaide, a city celebrated for its rich and diverse artistic tradition.
This project consolidated a number of the University’s off-campus activities into a new location on the campus and broadened the syllabus to include Jazz and Contemporary Music study programs. The University had a range of disused, under utilised ageing facilities on campus and were looking to bring these functions into those buildings.
A key aspect of the design was to unite the students around a central courtyard so that they could promote lunchtime outdoor concerts and practices sessions
Woodhead’s commission was to determine the ‘best fit’ of these facilities, maximising the number of rehearsal / practice rooms. This consisted of the Madley Building, with two large rehearsal rooms and 11 practice rooms;
the Hartley Building, a refurbishment to the school library and new administration facilities within the heart of the music campus;
the Schulz Building, with six floors including teaching, practice and staff facilities, and the Elder Hall, a refurbishment of the existing practice rooms.
Working to a fixed budget, the program was split up into portions to tie in with University exams, holiday periods, and the Adelaide Festival.
The project is very successful in finding effective uses for a number of disused spaces including the conversion of a gym into practice spaces and uniting the school around a renewed central courtyard space, enriching the social and academic aspect of student life.