MEDIA RELEASE - Pavilion marks major milestone with dual award nominations

The Pavilion Performing Arts Centre Sutherland has capped off a stellar first year of operation by netting nominations for two of the state’s top honours for excellence in architectural design.

The $42m overhaul of the former Sutherland Entertainment Centre into its current guise as The Pavilion Performing Arts Centre has seen the two architectural firms involved in shaping the transformation, CHROFI and NBRS, receive nominations for the prestigious New South Wales Architecture Awards.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce said the nominations are testament to the foresight of Council in undertaking such a significant reimagining of the region's premier performing arts space, as well as the hard work of the many builders, designers and consultants instrumental in delivering a state-of-the-art venue for audiences and performers to enjoy.

“Delivering a truly world class performing arts venue for our community to enjoy was a passion project I am tremendously proud to have championed throughout my time on Council,” Mayor Pesce said.

“From the very first show held at the venue last year to the hundreds of shows and civic events that have been performed at this amazing venue since, it’s clear The Pavilion has really been embraced not only by local music lovers and theatre goers, but also by top-tier performers across the spectrum of performing arts.”

Those who played a pivotal role in crafting the designs of the new facility expressed their delight at being shortlisted for the awards, with CHROFI Director, Steven Fighera saying that his team had been proud to take on the challenge of reimagining how visitors could experience what had been a well-established performing arts facility.

“We are thrilled to have The Pavilion nominated in these two categories at the NSW Architecture Awards,” Mr Fighera said.

“The inspiration for The Pavilion started with the historically rich 40-year-old building and finding ways to make it more open, accessible and inviting to the public. We did this by creating a stronger relationship with Peace Park with the building conceived as a new park structure - one in which the foyer becomes an extension of the park.

“The Pavilion establishes a new and more engaging address for the performing arts centre by virtue of a friendlier, integrated relationship with the public domain and its surrounding context”.

The Pavilion was a long-anticipated initiative of Sutherland Shire Council, with the local government providing $42 million in funding for renovations to the cultural site. A plan strongly supported by Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmello Pesce, construction began in 2020, with the venue opening to the public on March 4, 2023 at a community gala event.

Whilst The Pavilion is nominated in the competitive Public Architecture category, the teams at CHROFI and NBRS are also very honoured to also be recognised within the Sustainable Architecture category.

NBRS Principal and Community Sector Lead, Andrew Tripet said that the philosophy behind the design – to "do more with less" – sought to deliver a state-of-the-art facility which capitalised on the enduring value of the pre-existing building.

"Given the rich heritage of the original site, we took any opportunity to reuse and adapt as much of the original building's current fabric as possible,” Mr Tripet said.

“We wanted the building to be more than a single-purpose venue, but rather a flexible place for the whole community for decades to come.

“Sustainability features include use of mass timber construction for the new foyer which has significantly reduced embodied carbon, rainwater harvesting, PV solar array for power generation along with upgrades to existing building services and building fabric to improve energy efficiency.”

Winners of the NSW Architecture Awards will be announced in June 2024, with the teams at CHROFI and NBRS presenting their designs before the judges panel earlier this year. To stay up to date on the announcement of winners, visit Australian Institute of Architects - NSW Architecture Awards