The Miriam Performing Arts Centre at Our Lady of Sion College bears testament to the extensive consultation process with a diverse range of user groups. This ongoing community engagement was paramount, and with the involvement of specialist acoustic engineers, theatre and audiovisual consultants the result is a building that successfully reflects this three-way dialogue, ensuring the multiplicity of day and night uses and variety of moods imagined at its inception were realised.
The significant move towards visually connected learning enables teachers to engage with the challenges and joys of contemporary learning spaces and have elevated their ability to engage with conversations about 'space'. The early decision to actively engage with all adjoining uses in the tight setting has resulted in every possible corner being used to full effect. Yet it does so without creating a visual and physical barrier to all adjacent spaces.
The layout and flexibility of the building facilitate timetable challenges and allow spaces to interact with each other as well as ensuring multiple spaces can be used concurrently. Regular classes, rehearsals, intimate performances, presentations, assemblies, large scale productions as well as gatherings and daily school cafe operation can co-exist and transition seamlessly.
The material palette is modern and contemporary yet timeless, professional and elegant, and ensure the moods within the spaces can be readily adapted to suit small and large scale daily use and performance. Natural light has been sought at every opportunity, minimizing the need for artificial lighting, and the acoustic quality and separation between spaces further demonstrate the multidimensional success of the building.
Many of the college's ensembles, choirs and soloists now have the opportunity to perform in an on-campus professional venue where they are given a proper feel for the real-world and professional level musicians and actresses, thus further inspiring their own ambitions and greater learning.