Resulting from an international design competition won by architects Building Design Partnership’s Glasgow office in 1998, the £12m building is located in Perth’s historic Horse Cross. It is viewed in the round and uses a free-form plan as a unifying response to the irregular edges of the urban fabric bounding the site.
The distinctive curved form of the main auditorium is strongly expressed, both externally and within the foyer, to signal the building’s function and create a contemporary architectural icon for Perth.
Green patinated copper was selected for the auditorium roof, partly as a reference to the copper dome of the adjacent Perth Museum, but principally as a foil to the silver, white and grey materials forming the wall cladding. The copper cladding runs from the external surface of the roof, through a continuous rooflight and into the foyer to unify the form of the auditorium when viewed either from outside, or within the building. The selection of patinated copper results in a consistent colour for both weathered and internal surfaces.
Project Architect Bruce Kennedy said: “We chose pre-patinated copper to wrap the auditorium, both for its rich colour and its excellent durability. It was important that the material selected would define the expressive form of the main performance space, and would age gracefully in the Scottish climate.”