The first drawings are here – Brisbane, we can now take a good gander at what our new QPAC theatre will look like. Taking inspiration from our iconic river as a meeting place for telling stories, the world-class facility is set to feature a stunning glass façade, two new studio spaces, transparent foyer spaces and a single balcony auditorium delivering enhanced audience sight lines. The concept design respects the cultural heritage of the site, in keeping with the Conservation Management Plan, as well as late architect Robin Gibson’s original design.
The winning design by Norwegian practice Snøhetta and Brisbane architectural firm Blight Rayner was selected following an international design competition. Snøhetta brings experience from projects including the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Shanghai Grand Opera House and Europe’s first underwater restaurant, Under, while you may recognise Blight Rayner’s work from the QueensPlaza refurbishment, Kurilpa Bridge and the flood-resilient CityCat Ferry Terminals. As the most significant cultural project in Brisbane in more than a decade, the $150 million theatre will receive $125 million from the government, making it the largest investment in Queensland arts infrastructure since the Gallery of Modern Art. Once operational, the minimum-1500-seat theatre is expected to deliver capacity for an extra 260 performances and potentially an additional 300,000 visitors every year. It will sit on the Playhouse Green at QPAC, in the corner of Grey and Russell Streets. The successful managing contractor will be announced mid-2019, with early works construction due to kick off in 2020 and a target completion date of 2022.