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Westbourne Grammar’s James Mitchell Centre Theatre was designed for maximum flexibility and efficiency of space, cost and energy. The design focus not only increased the performance of the high level of thermal mass, it reduced the embodied energy and life cycle costs of the building.

The centre was carefully designed to respond to its microclimate, particularly as the site is windy. The building has been shaped to deflect winds and canopies fitted to protect the entries. The glazed tilt door opens up to the school’s lakeside creating a stunning backdrop for performances, orchestras and choirs while this lake plays an important role in passively cooling the hot north winds as they approach the building. The tuned acoustics achieved through the timber flooring and sculpted ceiling allow lectures to be delivered without microphones. multipurpose spaces assist to provide circulation throughout the building. The stage transforms for function dining, catered for by the adjacent bar and training kitchens.

The James Mitchell Centre received a Special Commendation in the 2006 United Nations World Environment Day awards for breaking new ground towards innovative, cost efficient Environmentally Sustainable Design practices.