An architectural alliance of Buchan, Tokyo-based Nikken Sekkei and international sports architects HKS have wasted no time laying out their plans for Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics venues, with sustainable timber designs on the horizon for south-east Queensland in the lead up to the Games.

Buchan and Nikken Sekkei’s relationship is steeped in history, with the Japanese firm currently delivering Buchan’s design for the Australian Pavilion for World Expo 2025 in Osaka. HKS is the relative newcomer to the trio, but boasts a portfolio of the highest quality, none more so than the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Buchan’s Brisbane Principal Phil Schoutrop (pictured top right) says that both his practice and Nikken Sekkei share a love for community-centric architecture that will be made tangible in the years between now and 2032.

Collings Miyakawa Inoue

"The 2032 Olympic venues, and the spaces in between, need to capture our communal spirit and not end up being generic places that could be anywhere. Buchan's extensive local knowledge pairs well with Nikken Sekkei's sustainable design expertise to amplify what makes Brisbane unique."

Japan is coincidentally Queensland’s strongest trading partner. Nikken Sekkei Executive Design Fellow, Hiroshi Miyakawa (pictured above, right), a frequent visitor of the sunshine state, cites Southbank, Howard Smith Wharves and GOMA as distinctive Brisbane destinations.

"Brisbane has always been a popular destination for Japanese tourists. We love the people, the climate and the natural beauty of this place, as well as its vibrant, contemporary culture.”

Nikken Sekkei’s Wood Lab is dedicated to the design and delivery of sustainable timber buildings. The Ariake Gymnastics Centre, the gymnastics venue for the Tokyo Games, was created via the Lab. 

“Timber is a beautiful material that resonates with Brisbane's sub-tropical climate and local architecture," says Miyakawa.

"Bringing our expertise in sustainable sports venue design to the creation of distinctly Queensland venues would be a wonderful legacy for our two countries.”

HKS’ Sports Sector Lead in Australia, Andrew Colling (pictured top left), is a Brisbane native, who now resides on the Gold Coast. When talking about SoFi Stadium, he believes it serves as a beacon for future designs of a similar ilk in the river city.

SoFi Stadium LA

"SoFi is a global benchmark for stadium design, but every venue HKS creates is specific to its people and place," says Colling, who says the 2032 Olympics should celebrate the things that make Brisbane unlike anywhere else. "

“To design for Brisbane, we need to look in the mirror. Who are we and what will make a great addition to our city, not just for 2032, but for the next 50 years and beyond?"