State Theatre, Perth, Australia

A new theatre complex in Perth, Western Australia

The landmark State Theatre of Western Australia, located in the Perth cultural centre, is a new theatre complex, comprising a 575 seat auditorium, 200 seat studio theatre and ancillary rehearsal and performance spaces.

Aurecon assisted the Department of Culture and the Arts with the preparation of the business case for this venue, as well as the site selection study. Following this, during the second project phase, Aurecon provided key sustainable building services design.

During the mechanical services design for the facility, Aurecon engineers used extensive computational fluid dynamics simulations to analyse various air conditioning concepts to serve both the main Heath Ledger theatre and the smaller Studio Theatre.

The simulations gave Aurecon’s engineers a highly accurate selection of displacement ventilation system and high-level jet diffuser options and performance data, which they then matched to the building design so that optimal thermal comfort could be delivered to patrons, visitors, staff and performers.

“Being part of a theatre complex meant that the design of the Heath Ledger Theatre was required to meet very strict acoustic requirements. This specific theatre was loosely designed as a ‘concrete box within a concrete box’ which created void spaces between the walls of the ‘boxes’ which we could exploit to provide passive cooling of the 100 per cent outside air being delivered to the theatre displacement ventilation system. This truly innovative free-cooling solution significantly reduced the required capacity of the active cooling thermal plant,” said Phil Hues, Technical Director, Built Environment.

In addition, a number of design considerations specifically aimed at minimising the energy consumption of the building were also modelled to deliver improved ecologically sustainable outcomes.


The project won the following award:

  • High Commendation: Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Awards 2011 – Infrastructure and Building (Western Australia)

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