Building recognised at awards

Published on 13 November 2023


MidCoast Council’s Beryl Jane Flett Studio has received a commendation for its design at the AIA Country Division Awards for public architecture recently.

The Beryl Jane Flett Studio was designed by locals Carolyn and Russell McFarland from Austin McFarland Architects.

The building was described as a modest addition to the existing theatre complex providing a cost-effective “black-box” space for community and commercial performances.

Working with a diverse range of community-based groups the architects refined the brief to accommodate aerial performances, cinema events and conferences.

Theatre Manager, Chris Tippett said the new studio space had been a hit with the community.

“It is great to see our wonderful new community facility recognised for its design,” he said.

The deceptively simple plan carefully wraps around existing air-conditioning equipment and cleverly connects new front and back of house space to existing facilities.

Externally the new work draws clues from the forms and metal clad elements of the original building, playfully interpreting them to suit the functional requirements of the interior.

The Studio created a new entry, improved wayfinding, a new brand and identity for the entire entertainment centre complex.

“The launch of the new state-of-the-art Beryl Jane Flett studio gave us an opportunity to reintroduce the MEC with a new look and feel,” Mr Tippett said.

“If you haven’t been to a performance in the new studio, you’re in for a real treat.

“Check out our season2 program online to see what’s on offer.”

The Beryl Jane Flett Studio exemplifies how simple design solutions can make meaningful contributions to the community.

Visit to book tickets to upcoming shows at the MEC and Beryl Jane Flett Studio.