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Samford Valley Steiner School - Multipurpose Hall, Brisbane, Australia

Monday 07 Mar 2011

Facilitating a flexible education

Samford Valley Steiner School - Multipurpose Hall by Pentarchi+ Phorm in Brisbane, Australia
Samford Valley Steiner School - Multipurpose Hall by Pentarchi+ Phorm in Brisbane, Australia Samford Valley Steiner School - Multipurpose Hall by Pentarchi+ Phorm in Brisbane, Australia Samford Valley Steiner School - Multipurpose Hall by Pentarchi+ Phorm in Brisbane, Australia Samford Valley Steiner School - Multipurpose Hall by Pentarchi+ Phorm in Brisbane, Australia
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 12

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12/04/11 Stephen, Brisbane
This building speaks to its enviroment and purpose in a highly successful and effective way. As a Director of a design and construct building company it is something I have some experience of. Every time I have visited the Hall or see it used I see details that I didn't notice the last time. That to me is an important sign of great design. This building will serve many generations of children and their community.
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09/04/11 Mike Hill, Samford Valley
Pentarchi Phorm’s Multipurpose Hall at Samford Valley Steiner School is an amazing project. The project has become the central feature building linking the Steiner primary and high schools. With a strong and practical sustainable design theme, the building has been embraced by the community it serves and enables the school to further develop its artistic soul.
With great tenacity the architects have utilised the old woolshed building recycled timbers, and have designed a naturally ventilated design with multiple uses. With a limited budget, and a tight timetable, the architects have achieved so much more than a conventional solution.
The masterpiece of the design is this flexibility, allowing several different uses for the facility. The natural setting has been used to create an amphitheatre which can also serve as a stage for performances. The internal space has been used in many different configurations for plays, performances, meetings and assemblies.
As a parent at the Steiner School I can attest to the success of the design, which has exceeded community expectations. We are very grateful to the vision of all involved in achieving this wonderful outcome.
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09/04/11 Chris, Brisbane
Lovely space. Totally flexible in utility. In complete harmony with the surrounding environment.
09/04/11 Elethea Talty, Fernvale
Beautiful design with so much variety in it's unique environments. I love how they have recycled building materials from the Woolshed; as a child this place was a frequent place to visit through school trips and family outings. I am assured this would make the families of Samford feel proud to use and view this structure, as it denotes heritage to it's location.

The open design also shows that environmental concerns have been taken into account as the ventilation would be continuous. Let me know when the first open air concert is... I would love the opportunity to sit on the grass and admire.
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09/04/11 JD, Australia
Beautiful design and construction, and well considered functionality and flexibility.
09/04/11 Sue, Camp Mountain
As a parent at SVSS, I have now had a number of opportunities to experience and appreciate the Multipurpose Hall. To give a suggestion of how this building has impressed me, I have chosen three instances.

Surrounded by other audience members, I sat on the grassy hill under the stars, watching a world class concert. The acoustics were excellent. The building design allowed performers to enter the stage from different and surprising angles. Performances ranged from poetry to dance to jazz singing to circus to bicycle eurythmy. The Hall enabled all to produce their finest work. As I was watching, I wondered what other world-class performers I would see in future, as the building lends itself to quality.

I attended a Christmas Carols event, which was held inside the Hall. Although the Hall is large, due to the warmth of the beautiful timber work, it also lends itself to smaller intimate occasions. Although I knew few people there, I felt as though I were attending a family gathering.

The graduation of Class Seven students gave me further appreciation of the Hall. At the end of the ceremony, the Class Seven students left via the large doors, and followed the path that leads to the High School. Audience members, who remained seated inside, could watch them for some distance. This was a memorable scene, made possible only by the design and placement of the Hall itself.

Each time that I have seen the Hall in use, I have wondered in awe at both its intrinsic natural beauty and functionality. This building is world-class and deserves to be recognised as such.
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08/04/11 Tricia & Herbert Scott, Samford
This is a truly excting project; versatile, effective and a wonderful example of the positive outcome achieved by creative and practical design. It is fantastic to have a Hall to house main events of both performance and ceremony. Having a venue which holds large numbers is such a luxury and for that venue to be able to be adapted to many different activites is nothing short of magic. What a wonderful example for the pupils to validate creative and attractive yet practical ideas.
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08/04/11 C Watts, Brisbane
I had the chance to see this wonderful building when visiting the school with a friend who has a child attending. It manages to be both utterly impressive and utterly in tune with its surroundings. I had a sneaky peak inside and saw children happily making use of the halls open indoor spaces and I have to say, i envy them this wonderful space - so different from the cold, square block of steel and corrogated iron that was in place at my school! Well done to the architects for creating such a wonderful resource for the school community.
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08/04/11 Barrie, Edinburgh
The balance between light & airy and warm & cosy is a hard one to find but this seems to strike that pose nicely. The building as a centrepoint of transition between primary and secondary schools ensures the idea has been executed expertly and the hall remains unimposing as well as uniting the school as one. As it sits snugly in its surrounding environment it doesn't seem like a necessary, practical solution but more a natural, obvious one. The lush flowing design mimics the transitional purpose of the building beautifully. Welcomed in by two friendly wooden arms the building wraps itself around you without ever seeming too open ensuring this focal point is indeed a hug of a building.
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08/04/11 Jill, Brisbane
This gorgeous hall is truly a multi-purpose space. The feeling inside is intimate yet spacious. Since its completion earlier this year, we've used it on a near daily basis. We really love it and are honoured to see it in this competition! :)
Award Entry

Pentarchi + Phorm completes new adaptable hall for the Steiner School near Brisbane 

The SVSS Multipurpose Hall was constructed as part of the Australian Government's Building Education Revolution stimulus funds. The hall was constructed using recycled timber salvaged from a vandalised nearby tourist attraction 'The Australian Woolshed'. The idea for a Multipurpose Hall brought the icon to life through the reuse of the 12-metre hardwood trusses, continuing the spirit of the timbers to witness another life if its own.

The Hall is scribed into the Samford Valley landscape, sited amongst existing gum trees, taking advantage of the gentle slope with the ridge line orientated towards Camp Mountain in the distance. The new structure provides an indoor and outdoor focus through the program, creating a pivotal point in between the denser 'lower school', and the recently established 'high school' buildings on other side of the campus. The school's master plan is thus unified by a meandering pedestrian spine that leads from both sides to the Hall anchoring the stage by spooning in front of the natural grassy amphitheatre.

With a removable performance stage, the hall was conceived as a flexible space allowing numerous possibilities of configurations to work on different scales. Firstly, as an internalised space used for individual 'eurhythmy' class and small group lessons. Secondly, for gathering complete school assemblies and 'formal school ceremonies' where the indoor and / or outdoor stage areas can be implemented. Thirdly, the space can be opened towards the landscape where a covered stage becomes part of the grassed amphitheatre scribed into the landscape for much larger outdoor performances. Finally the hall also allows for orientation towards the school playing fields for use at other school festivals where the local community can enjoy a bush dance, and the school fair and markets.

The adaptability and simplicity of the services in both equipment and natural ventilation affirms the low-cost, multipurpose stature of the hall. The potential of the Hall's uses and value is paramount in affirming the Steiner Schools principles of learning, giving the students a plethora of stages to demonstrate their talents.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Pentarchi+ Phorm
Reinventing Cities

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