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    New towers and theatres for Brisbane cultural precinct under draft master plan by Cox Rayner and Urbis

    Geraldine Chua

    The Queensland government, through Arts Queensland, has released a draft cultural precinct master plan to guide future development and investment of the precinct over the next 20 years.

    Developed by Cox Rayner, Urbis and Lord Cultural Resources, the masterplan covers Queensland’s cultural precinct on Brisbane’s South Bank, in the area adjacent to the CBD.

    The 20 year masterplan is built around four key themes, with each to be realised through cultural institutions, dramatic buildings and diverse programming, the improvement and creation of new outdoor spaces, and better connections between existing cultural assets.

    “The masterplan is a bold vision to guide future development and investment over the next 20 years, proposing new theatres, hotels, dining and science facilities as well as a new learning centre,” said Premier Campbell Newman during the unveiling of the plans.

    “We want to make what’s great about Queensland even better and the economic advantages of a booming cultural precinct will be felt by all Queenslanders.”

    Currently, the precinct comprises the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum, and the State Library of Queensland.

    The first aim, connectivity and accessibility, will be achieved by improving linkages from the precinct to the Brisbane City Centre, South Bank and South Brisbane. A new pedestrian bridge over Melbourne Street and new access ways from Riverwalk up to the cultural facilities will be built connecting these areas.

    In a bid to boost cultural tourism and events, the masterplan proposes creating more public spaces. This includes three new riverfront outdoor theatres, and a 1,500 seat theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) that will pave the way for international performances and local, smaller-scale events.

    A new 6,000sqm retail floor space is expected to activate the precinct, while there are opportunities for commercial development in the area. Two new towers spanning 80,000sqm that can be used as hotels, offices or apartments have also been included in the current masterplan to allow major new uses to be housed in the precinct.

    Other proposed features include a stand-alone Sciencentre building, expansion of the Queensland museum, more public access to the river from the State Library, and a new grand staircase to the Queensland Art Gallery forecourt, including expanded frontage, a new gallery, and a canopied link to GoMA.

    These initiatives are expected to support innovation and learning, with a focus on cultural production, education, and the amalgamation of the arts and sciences.

    The Queensland government is now seeking public feedback from all Queenslanders on the draft plan, and has extended the official consultation period to Friday, 27 June.

    Visit to complete an online survey, and download the draft cultural precinct masterplan. 

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