Whithorse Performing Arts - The Round

Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre – The Round

The Round has been designed with accessibility at its core.

The Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre, known now as The Round, is an exciting new arts building in Melbourne’s East.  This project began in 2019, and Architecture & Access have worked closely with the design team at BKK and Kirsten Thompson Architects (KTA) and during construction with the builder, Kane.  The project reached completion late 2023. 

Architecture & Access’ involvement commenced in 2016, when we completed an existing building audit of the previous performing arts centre on the same site. The building had several access shortfalls, and it is rewarding to have come full circle with this project and for us to be involved in delivering a 21st century performing arts centre.

The building sits within the grounds of the City of Nunawading council building.  A large feature of the new building is the flat floor performance space that opens out to the grounds to allow for large open-air performances/events including Christmas Carols.  The proscenium theatre seats 626 patrons and has level access to the stage from the auditorium.  This importantly allows people seated to easily access the stage for events like awards ceremonies.  The backstage area is accessible with four accessible toilets for performers.  Amenities for patrons include accessible toilets, all-gender toilets, a Changing Places Facility, parents/carers room and all gender toilets (with ample female toilets in comparison to male) including ambulant toilet cubicles.  This represents a thoroughly contemporary and thoughtful response to the needs of a wide range of patrons. 

“The Round has been meticulously designed to ensure accessibility for all patrons.”

Function at The Round

Lifted access is provided to the upstairs conference centre, bar and rehearsal studios.  The basement, equally, is accessed via a lift.  From this level ramped access is provided to the orchestra pit, allowing access for people of all abilities to the orchestra pit and for ease of access for those with large instruments; think double base!

From an accessibility point of view, Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre has been a success. This is due to a close collaboration with the Architecture team and then with the builder. We attended site to solve any access issues in a timely and constructive manner, always considered project costs and how to achieve the best outcome to support access and inclusion for all users, especially those people with a disability.

“We also attended consultation sessions with the Disability Advisory Committee to ensure that their specific feedback was included in the design. This is a stunning, contemporary and accessible building and I can’t wait to see my first show there in a few weeks.’’

Cathryn Grant, Access Leader Victoria
Architecture & Access


Level 5, 369 Royal Parade
Parkville VIC Australia 3052

T 1300 715 866
E info@archaccess.com.au


Bowman House, Level 4,
Suite 41B, 276 Edward Street
Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

T 1300 715 866
E info@archaccess.com.au