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Ukaria Cultural Centre

119 Williams Road, Mount Barker Summit

A multipurpose function centre which has as its heart an intimate auditorium designed specifically for chamber music.  In response to its setting on the slope facing the summit of Mount Barker, the auditorium is designed to bring the natural landscape inside and for the expansive views to be an integral part of the performance experience. A glass wall faces the summit and garden. Blade walls of rammed earth frame views of the vines.

The centre has alfresco dining for 120 guests, with a full catering kitchen, outdoor pizza oven and BBQ. There are Greenroom facilities for the musicians, art gallery exhibition spaces, garden sculpture and an “Artist in Residence” facility with accommodation and a studio.

The car parking is situated around the garden. Paths guide patrons up to the building. Alfresco dining, amenities and an artist’s residence flank the concert hall on each side, reducing scale and engaging with the land.

The auditorium has a spacious and enveloping sound. Musicians have remarked on its fullness, clarity, richness and warmth. Music commentators have stated that the acoustics are exemplary and that there is no better chamber music space in Australia.

Materials are selected for their sustainable qualities including rammed earth walls and plantation timbers. The building utilizes passive solar design with solar and rain harvesting. The auditorium has natural light and ventilation options, energy efficient indirect evaporative room conditioning, LED lighting and full AV facilities.

The roof structure employs the structural principles of the reciprocal frame. Load is distributed, rafter to rafter, each supporting the next in a continuous transfer of load.  The structure has simultaneously, energy and balance. Externally the sweeping verandah roofs over the deck fan up to embrace the rising view.

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