Mueller College – Perfoming Arts Centre

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Mueller College – Perfoming Arts Centre

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The Mueller College Performing Arts Centre is a multi-storey, multi-use institutional building constructed over six levels.- The construction form is predominantly reinforced concrete with external concrete block masonry walls and a steel trussed roof spanning the full width of the building.
The structural design for the building was undertaken on a design and construct basis, with the construction taking place over a 4 year period with completion in late 2008.
The construction of the building generally consists of the following:
• A basement car park level constructed on concrete bored piles and mass concrete pad footings;
• Reinforced concrete retaining walls to the 2 basement levels;
• A reinforced concrete transfer slab at level 3 (main auditorium level);
• A full width stage and upper level proscenium floor constructed over 3 levels;
• An upper auditorium level including tiered cantilever seating with a cantilever length in excess of 12m;
• An area of suspended reinforced concrete floor slab at the northern end of the building gaining vertical support from a transfer slab located at the uppermost level. The lower slab level was effectively hanging from the transfer slab requiring careful detailing of steel reinforcement splices;
• Horizontally spanning reinforced concrete walkaways which provided lateral to the main auditorium. Full width floor slabs at each end of the building acted as abutments to the walkway slabs;
• A clear span trussed roof including roof level gangways and walkways.
The project represented significant challenges. Of these challenges the most significant was catering for changing client needs which evolved during the course of construction, with the construction of the level 3 transfer level slab being complete before the remainder of the design was finalised. Despite these constraints NJA were able to complete the structural design package without any compromise to any aspect of the design.

Another significant challenge related to the upper level tiered seating to the main auditorium. The structural steel frame was required to cantilever some 12m from the face of the supporting columns requiring careful assessment of the dynamic response of the floor as well as the specification of very heavy duty anchorages to the beam-column reinforced concrete support structure.