UKARIA honours our First Nations by fostering a shared sense of respect for this land, and we acknowledge and pay our respects to the Peramangk, traditional custodians of the land on which the Cultural Centre stands.



Anton Johnson, a South Australian based architect, designed the multipurpose auditorium as an intimate venue for chamber music. Its intimacy is enhanced with the audience seated around the performance space on three sides. A 9-metre-wide and 9.2-metre high glass wall faces the Mount Barker Summit and the Twin Peaks, with a foreground view of our Crescendo Garden. To the south east, blade walls of rammed earth frame views of the Ngeringa vineyards. The auditorium is designed to bring the outside in and for the expansive views to be part of the performance experience.


The architect, Anton Johnson, worked in collaboration with ARUP, who have an international reputation for excellence in acoustical engineering. Andrew Nicol and Cameron Hough worked with Anton from concept to completion.

The concert hall has been modelled to have a spacious and enveloping sound while preserving the intimate scale and aesthetic character of the space.


The principles of ecologically sustainable development have been closely followed. The building utilizes passive solar design principles with solar and rain harvesting, making it self-sufficient for energy and water. The auditorium has natural light and ventilation options as well as energy efficient indirect evaporative room conditioning, LED lighting and full blackout. Fully interactive communication and audio visual facilities are incorporated for multi media events, conferences and weddings.

The building materials have been selected for their sustainable natural qualities and rural character. Rammed earth walls are exposed inside and outside the building, sustainable plantation timber is used and the building is clad externally with corrugated iron.

The roof structure employs the engineering principles of the ancient reciprocal frame. The roof embodies simultaneously, energy and balance, in a visually dynamic structure. Spanning between the primary beams are smaller triangular panels, each with varying depths for acoustic diffusion. Externally the sweeping verandah roof over the deck fans up and out to embrace the rising view.


In response to the wonderful growth of our cultural program, the UKARIA 'alfresco' dining area has been reconfigured to provide a larger and more comfortable space for patrons to enjoy at all times of the year. 

This new space - The Garden Terrace - was completed in October 2021. 

Click here to read more about The Garden Terrace


Architect and Interior Design | Anton Johnson Architect

Building Contractor | Harrold & Kite Pty Ltd

Acoustical Engineering | Arup

Structural and Civil Engineers | CPR Consulting Engineers

Building Services | Bestec Consulting Engineers

Cost Management | Rider Levett Bucknall

Specialist Lighting and AV | Bluebottle

Kitchen Design and Equipment | Stoddart

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