2018 National Architecture Awards: National Award for Heritage

The Cadogan Song School by Palassis Architects Heritage: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The Cadogan Song School provides facilities for the St George’s Cathedral choir within the heritage-sensitive Cathedral Square precinct in the Perth CBD. Located between St George’s Cathedral, Burt Memorial Hall, Church House and the Deanery, the Song School works across two levels to ensure full access through the precinct. Sculptural vaulted arches and a “tuning fork” spire reference both the lancet windows of the cathedral and the choirmaster’s instrument, providing cover to the expressed corkscrew stairwell.

Underneath lies the subterranean Song School proper, crypt-like in its volume and character, thoughtfully distinguishing its contemporary nature by way of careful material selection. The school sits within the foundations of the cathedral and Burt Memorial Hall, allowing the program to make a considered impact on the visual definition of the eastern elevations.

The jury was impressed by the architects’ consideration of form, use and material at the scale of the precinct and the city as well as at the intimate scale of the oak-lined singing hall. The Cadogan Song School inserts a lyrical set of forms that are in keeping with the built heritage of the precinct while clearly enunciating a contemporary place for heavenly song.


Palassis Architects
Perth, WA, Australia
Project Team
Kevin Palassis (design and lead project architect), Jordanna Palassis, Kathryn Exell (graduates of architecture)
Acoustic consultant Marshall Day Acoustics
Builder PACT Construction
Building surveyor John Massey Group
Custom furniture manufacturer Saltwood Designs
Electrical and mechanical engineer Lucid Consulting
Hydraulic and fire engineer Lucid Consulting
Lighting designer and supplier Inlite, Light Application
Structural engineer Fozdar Engineers
Site Details
Location Perth,  WA,  Australia
Site type Urban
Project Details
Status Built
Category Public / commercial
Type Heritage, Schools
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