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Brisbane Powerhouse
by City Design-City Business-Brisbane City Council in association with Cox Rayner and Allom Lovell



The brief for the Brisbane Powerhouse Centre for the Arts was developed through extensive consultation with Government departments, general public, residents and industry groups, and with direction from Brisbane City Councils' inner city Urban Renewal Task Force. A collaboration of Architects with their own specific experience City Design (Theatres), Cox Rayner (Urban Design), and Allom Lovell (Conservation) developed the design between the extreme positions of architectural potential of the industrial wasteland and the consideration of public safety and access. Buildings like this give up their secrets slowly, often blurring our judgement between cultural and aesthetic considerations. So, the graffiti and the "left as found" bits tell stories and support myths of construction, power generation, homelessness, street kids, aerosol art, middle class gigs, pigeons, surveyors and carpentry – all without any further architectural judgement. The 400

seat theatre was designed to gently touch the tiled and graffiti covered 2m thick existing walls at the end of the Turbine Building. The new bare concrete and steel backstage extensions, democratically giving dressing rooms, green room and production offices million dollar views up and down the river was parked up against the eastern wall in a similar manner to the previous extensions. A 200 seat theatre is tucked down into what was murky parts of water distribution and turbine supports, with the added challenges for artists of circumnavigating huge turbine support blocks. Here the stage can be enlarged at the expense of seats. A smaller Stores Building has good rehearsal spaces. Other facilities include café / bar / restaurant and gallery spaces. In use, the whole complex has proven so far to be flexible and accessible physically and has successfully demonstrated sound adaptive reuse of important cultural heritage buildings.

New Farm, QLD
City Design-City Business-Brisbane City Council in association with Cox Rayner and Allom Lovell
07 3403 0530
Project Team
Project architect: Fedor Medek, Brisbane City Council - City Design
Project architect: Ian Sutter
Design architect: Peter Roy, Brisbane City Council, City Design
Design architect: Michael Rayner, Cox Rayner Architects & Planners
Project manager: David Viney, Brisbane City Council, City Design
Structural consultant: Manni Salmon, Salmon McKeague Partnership (SMP)
Landscape consultant: Brisbane City Council, City Design
Landscape consultant: Gamble McKinnon & Associates Pty Ltd
Interior designer: Brisbane City Council, City Design
Acoustic consultant: RFA Acoustic Design Pty Ltd
Services consultant: Connell Wagner Pty Ltd
Quantity consultant: Rawlinsons Qld
Builder: A W Edwards Pty Ltd
Artists: Robyn Backen, Robyn Backen Artist
Artist: Sheridan Kennedy, Sheridan Kennedy Artist
Artist: Julie Rrap, Julie Rrap Artist
Artist: Richard Tipping, Richard Tipping Artist
Curator: Artworkers Alliance
Graphics: Dot Dash
Theatre Consultant: Jack Singe, Jack Singe & Associates
Photographer: Graham Philip, Graham Philip Photography
Photographer: Jon Linkins, Jon Linkins Photography
Other Team Members : Jon Percival, Danielle Adermann, Jeff Bauer, Danny Bos, Terry Braddock, Michael Buzolic, Hamilton Cue, Matthew Fraser, Kirsten Gough, Brendan Gaffney, Wendy Hay, Monique Hill, Hugh Markwell, Patrick Querengasser, Ingrid Richards, Allan Rielly, Paul Taudevin, Susie Beale

Photographs by Graham Philip of Graham Philip Photography & Jon Linkins of Jon Linkins Photography, text by City Design-City Business-Brisbane City Council in association with Cox Rayner and Allom Lovell

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects