The new Cadogan Song School represents the completion of a collection of buildings within a historic cathedral precinct in Perth.
Located between St. George’s Cathedral, Burt Memorial Hall, Church House and the Deanery, the Song School serves as a space for the St. George’s Cathedral choir. It was designed to reference the architectural language of the surrounding buildings while allowing full access through the site.
The form consists of a series of sculptural vaulted arches and a ‘turning fork’ spire, which is a contemporary reference to the style (and in particular the defining lancet windows) of St. George’s Cathedral.
The Song School’s materiality and colour were carefully considered, with the crisp white vaults referencing the two existing visual extremes of the site, the Deanery and Ascalon.
In order to maintain existing sight lines, the majority of the structure sits underground within the foundations of the Cathedral and Burt Hall. The building’s entrance protrudes from Burt Hall, creating visual definition while also letting in natural light.
Accessibility and functionality are important aspects of the design. A bespoke spiral staircase enables access to the Upper Plaza from the Deanery Gardens. There is also a new entrance to Lower Burt Hall, including a new kitchen, bathrooms and lift access.
Inside, the Song School’s vaulted hall pays homage to the classical underground ‘crypt’ typically found in cathedrals. Primary materials include solid oak floors, custom milled diffuser wall panels and vaulted ceilings made of curved concrete beams and perforated brass panels. The ceilings conceal all of the necessary building services while also meeting the building’s acoustic requirements.