The Multipurpose Hall was constructed as part of the Australian Government's Building Education Revolution stimulus program.
The hall was constructed using recycled hardwood timber salvaged from a vandalized nearby iconic tourist attraction “The Australian Woolshed' which unfortunately was demolished in 2008. The owner of the “Woolshed” kindly donated the timber to the Steiner School. Carefully demolished, the school dismantled and perserved 80% the original timber structure, relocating it to the school site, where it was stockpiled for 2 years.
The fact that the timber was only transported less than 10km from the originallocality adds to the sustainability 'equation' and maintains substantial resources which would have otherwise been dumped or scrapped. The BER funding enabled the hall to be realised utilising the recycled materials. Reuse of the 12m spanning hardwood trusses and maintained the continuity of the spirit of the timbers through another life within the same community.
The Hall is scribed into the gentle sloping landscape, sited amongst existing gum trees, taking advantage of the gentle slope with the ridge line oriented towards Camp Mountain in the distance. The new structure provides an indoor and outdoor focus through the program, creating a pivotal point in between the denser 'lower school', and the recently established 'high school' buildings on other side of the campus.
The school's master plan is thus unified by a meandering pedestrian spine that leads from both sides to the timber clad Hall, anchoring the stage by spooning in front of natural grassy amphitheatre. With a removable performance stage the hall was conceived as a flexible space allowing numerous possibilities of configurations to work on different scales: Firstly, as an internalised space used for individual 'eurhythmy' class and small group lessons. Secondly, for gathering complete school assemblies and 'formal school ceremonies' where the indoor and / or outdoor stage areas can be implemented. Thirdly, the space can be opened towards the landscape where a covered stage becomes part of the grassed amphitheatre scribed into the landscape for much larger outdoor performances.Finally the hall also allows for orientation towards the school playing fields for use at other school festivals where the local community can enjoy a bush dance, and the school fair and markets. The adaptability and simplicity of the services in both equipment and natural ventilation affirms the low-cost,passive design of the hall.
The potential of the Hall's uses and value is paramount in affirming the Steiner Schools principles of learning, giving the students a plethora of stages to demonstrate their talents. The use of recycled timber continues the strong tradition within the site and adds to the rich culture of performance and natural materials in the school.