St Agatha’s School

Address: 6 Hunter Lane, Clayfield QLD 4011 (Brisbane – A1)

Client: Brisbane Catholic Education

Completion: 2012

Value: $5 million

Work Category: New Facility / Refurbishment

Services Activity: Structural Engineering

Commission Type: Design, Documentation & Construction Services


A new multipurpose Performing Arts Centre complete with open air performance space, tiered audience seating, backstage dressing and prop rooms, sound and lighting room, music store room, café and retractable stage. This new building was nestled on the side of an embankment, within a small building envelope between a school and church, and needed to seamlessly connect with an existing 4-storey brick building. Additionally, the restoration of a bell tower and the construction of cantilevered concrete walkways were completed.


Through the strategic placement of support columns the two storey buildings utilised a highly efficient and economical structural system that maximised internal open areas and allowed for significant flexibility in future upgrades. Additionally, the use of timber wind trusses fixed above the ceiling line allowed the architect to create clear open plan classrooms and work areas without walls impeding. Using timber helped to minimise trade packages and help prevent construction bottlenecks.


The restricted building envelope meant the structural design needed to be closely coordinated with the architect and builder to ensure construction was possible. For example, an elevated walkway was located over an existing rock faced embankments. Propping or strutting off the embankment was not possible so bored piers were needed to anchor cantilevered steel beams that projected out over the rock face. Bondek was then laid between the beams and a concrete walkway was created that allowed safe pedestrian access adjacent the driveway.