Concert Hall gets $52m tizz

DESIGN works are underway for a $52.4 million redevelopment of the Perth Concert Hall, with Perth based With_Architecture Studio and international firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture appointed lead architects.

The hall was built in 1973 and is one of Perth’s last surviving brutalist behemoths. But as it nears 50 it’s in need of some TLC and has been costing millions in patchwork repairs in recent years. 

The redevelopment was announced in 2020 as part of the tri-government Perth City Deal, the WA government paying $36.4m, the federal government covering $12m , and Perth council pitching in $4m.

OMA was previously a co-designer of the WA Museum Boola Bardip’s 2019 redevelopment, while With_Architecture’s local work includes 99 St Georges Terrace and designing the yet-to-be-built Gold Hotel planned for a nearby site. Both firms are fond of boxy, cantilevered designs.

Enduring

The Concert Hall was originally designed by Howlett and Bailey Architects, and in 2016 won the National Architecture Award for Enduring Design.

The jury’s citation said “brutalist buildings like the Perth Concert Hall, if situated in lucrative residential locations and subject to government short-sightedness, can be easy targets for demolition. 

“With recent government-owned buildings such as the Sirius apartment complex in Sydney and even heritage-listed buildings such as the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne now earmarked for demolition, it is imperative that buildings of this nature are accepted by the general population as being key to our nation’s architectural story.”

While the redevelopment design won’t be seen for a while a joint government press release says the plan is to “preserve the heritage-listed concert hall and activate a future cultural hub connecting the city and the Swan River”.

Works are due for completion by late 2024. 

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