… extensive refurbishment for this popular venue

The Roundhouse at the University of NSW, is a multifunction venue that has featured some of the largest musical acts, conferences, theatre performances and private parties for over 50 years. The 2200-capacity venue has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment to ensure a spectacular experience for patrons into the future.

“We needed to create an AV/PA solution that would cater for our current variety of uses, but could also future-proof our capacity over the medium term”Shelley Valentine – Director, Student Services – ARC@UNSW

The building on UNSW Campus first opened in 1961! It has had ad-hoc work done in the time since then, however, this was the first opportunity for a substantial transformation.


The previous space was dominated by a large central ceiling structure, which limited extra rigging and lighting etc. The ‘new’ Roundhouse brief called for enhanced rigging and anchor points that could facilitate a broader production capability. The old building also presented some significant acoustic issues – with a round venue format and the central ‘dome’ structure. Shelley Valentine explains further; “this is a venue that needs the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of uses – from guest lectures and conferences, to creative-arts productions to band performances. We needed to create an AV/PA solution that would cater for this current variety and could also future-proof our capacity over the medium-term” said Shelley.


The Venue now has the ability to host major international acts, conference clients and in-house entertainment productions and forums. The ease of use is a big plus – where multiple users with varying system knowledge can access the equipment functionality. Recently re-opened and in its’ first month of operating, Shelley Valentine said “we’ve had 1 sell-out student dance party, 4 or 5 comedy acts, 3 large (band) gigs, 1 x 200 and 1 x 1000-person conferences. The Venue is getting positive feedback from acts and potential clients; with one saying ‘this is one of the best sounding venues of this size in the Country’.”

The roundhouse

Task & delivery:

Sydney’s The P.A. People Installed Systems team, delivered the audio, lighting, projection and control systems, working in conjunction with other suppliers. This project was delivered under two contracts of work; one for the builder and one for the University.

The theatre consultant Richard Stuart provided the specification for the theatre infrastructure package to Multiplex who managed the complete building project. Goldline Industries were allocated the entire electrical works task, who in turn brought The P.A. People onboard to deliver the theatre infrastructure component.

The P.A. People provided comprehensive cabling infrastructure, along with a complement of dimmers, projection screens and luminaires.  In addition, they also installed a new d&b V series performance sound system, Digico SD12 desk and QSC audio control system, a Hog4 lighting console and Epson projectors.

Jands assisted The P.A. People with chain hoists for speaker rigging plus winches and chain hoists for motorised lighting bars, trusses and scenery battens as well as a package of curtaining for the venue.

A major challenge with the project was the Barrisol ceiling which is constructed with a lightweight fabric membrane stretched across a segmented pie structure. The stretched membrane needed to be cut to allow the rigging and cabling to pass through. This had to be measured and cut precisely the first time to avoid damage to the ceiling structure.

Equipment List

  • d&b Vi8/Vi12 speaker system
  • Digico SD12-D2 audio console
  • QSC Qsys control & audio routing system
  • Roland XS-84H vision matrix
  • Mic Package including 4x Shure QLXD radio mics
  • High End Systems Hog4 lighting console
  • 24 x Philips Showline SLBAR510 LED wash lights
  • 24 x Philips Showline SLPARS
  • 6 x ETC CSSPOTs
  • 6 x ETC Source4 profile
  • 3 x Epson LED projectors 2x 8,000 & 1x 11,000 lumens
  • 3 x Screen Technics Motorised Screens
  • 8 x Chain Hoists
  • 10 x Winches
  • 40m of truss
  • 2 x Scenery battens
  • 1 x Jands Flying control system
  • Curtaining