Fahan Gym & Performing Arts Centre

Hobart, Tasmania

Status :

Completed 2010

Photography :

Jonathan Wherrett

Hobart’s Fahan School was first established in 1935. Originally a dairy farm, the school is located within magnificent grounds and gardens—an oasis now hemmed in by the surrounding houses.

Jaws Architects was commissioned to develop a new Gymnasium and Performing Arts Centre on the undeveloped western side of the school, a site edged by the Wayne Rivulet. Our design treated the two structures as one project, providing an opportunity for expansion and adding value to the school by linking these important spaces.

The buildings are integrated within the site’s existing terrain and create a dynamic precinct, defined by movement within, under and between the structures. A pre-cast concrete structure is integral to the design, drawing on the exposed dolerite found in the grounds.

The buildings, which are accessed by a bridge, are sunk into the hillside to aid thermal performance, minimise visual impact and contain noise. Earth-covered roofs sit gently within the landscape and unify the buildings, creating play spaces and opportunity for reflection and impromptu performance. Movement within the building is via ramps, stairs and corridors submerged into the ground, and the use of natural light and bold colour infuses these inspiring spaces with a sense of delight.