PICA & Arts House


City of Perth

Place Number



James St Mall Perth

Location Details

Address includes: 2 & 4 Roe St, Perth; 174 Wlliam St, Perth. Includes: Monitors School Bldg, Manual Training School, Cookery & Laundry Centre (now demolished). Also part of Perth Cultural Centre

Other Name(s)

Infants School, Perth Boys School,Perth Tech
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Girls &

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1896

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 20 Dec 1985
State Register Registered 24 Mar 2000 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
EPRA Link & Perth Cultural Centre Invtry Adopted
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Oct 1980
Classified by the National Trust Classified 07 Mar 1978
Perth Draft Inventory 99-01 YES 31 Dec 1999
Municipal Inventory Adopted 13 Mar 2001 Category 1

Child Places

  • 02026 Hackett Hall

Statement of Significance

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE gazetted with permanent entry as State Registered Place (24/03/2000). PICA & Arts House, comprising PICA, the former Perth Boys’ School (1897), a red brick and corrugated iron former school building in the Federation Free Classical style, and Arts House, comprising the former Monitors’ School (1905, 1914), Manual Training School (1898) and Cookery and Laundry Centre (1906), has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: + the place was constructed as part of the Perth Central School, the first central school in Western Australia, the philosophy of which was to provide a complete educational facility, with opportunities for post-primary education. The construction of the Boy’s School was the largest project undertaken for the Education Department in the 1890s; + due to its scale and architectural detail, PICA is a good example of the Federation Free Classical style of architecture and is a distinctive landmark north of the railway line; + due to the scale of the buildings and the extent of the complex, which incorporated separate schools for infants, boys and girls on one site, as well as purpose-built facilities for post-primary education, Perth Central School was an unusually large school complex in the early 1900s. Of all the elements of the site, only PICA and Arts House remain; + through its use as an educational facility over a period of ninety years, the place has a significant associative value for the thousands of people who have studied there. More recently, the place is valued for its associations with the local contemporary art scene; and, + from the 1950s to the 1980s, the place operated as the James Street Annexe of the Perth Technical College and since the late 1980s, as a central venue of practicing and exhibiting contemporary art. The Perth Girl’s and Infant’s School (1877) was incorporated into the Perth Central School c. 1898. The Perth Girl’s and Infant’s School was demolished for the development of the Perth Cultural Centre. Other buildings on the site, including the Caretaker’s Quarters (1897), Domestic Economy School (c. 1860 cottage; later the Household Management Centre), the Education Department Stores (c. 1860 cottages), play sheds and toilets, and the associated Teachers’ Quarters on James Street (c. 1904) have also been demolished.

Physical Description

Two storied symmetrical building with hipped roof and prominent tower distinguished by colonnaded loggia and tower clock.


Refer to documentation of places for entry in the State Register of Heritage Places.


Low level of integrity. Medium level of authenticity. Has been restored to original detail.




Name Type Year From Year To
Richard Roach Jewell Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5792 Specification for P.I.C.A. & Arts House : restoration, maintenance & disability upgrade (package 2). Report 0
5086 Perth Cultural Centre development sites Nos.1&2 future land use. Final report. February 2000. Heritage Study {Other} 2000
8050 Heritage impact assessment. New performing arts venue, Northbridge. Heritage Study {Other} 2006
5085 Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge : report on disability access upgrade. Report 2001
8382 Former Manual Training School (1898). Archival record December 2006. Archival Record 2006
5431 Specification for Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts refurbishment. Report 2002
7378 New performing arts venue : site evaluation report. Report 2004
872 Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Former Perth Boys' and Girls' Schools), Perth Cultural Centre, (Northbridge: conservation plan) PICA Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1995
11749 PICA and Arts House - conservation management strategy Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2018
3788 Arts House Conservation Plan Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1998
8383 Former Cookery and Laundry Centre (1906). Archival record, December 2006. Archival Record 2006

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Museum
Original Use EDUCATIONAL Combined School

Architectural Styles

Federation Free Classical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Intellectual activities, arts&craft
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Cultural activities
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

19 Oct 2021


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.