The Queensland Government has selected five shortlisted practices out of 24 submissions to a national design competition for the proposed $150 million theatre at the heritage-listed Queensland Cultural Centre in South Bank. Shortlisted firms include Snøhetta and Blight Rayner Architecture, Cox Architecture and Amanda Levete Architects, ARM Architecture and M3 Architecture, Richard Kirk Architects and Kerry Hill Architects, and Henning Larsen and Wilson Architects (Architects in Association).

The 1500-seat theatre will be constructed on the Playhouse Green site, managed by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). The theatre will be the new home of Queensland Ballet, and will host performances from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Queensland and Queensland Theatre. The Queensland Government will fund $125 million as part of the State Budget, with QPAC contributing the remaining $25 million.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said QPAC was the busiest theatre complex in Australia. “In 2018 our Government committed $125 million towards the new theatre to help Queensland keep attracting bigger shows and more visitors,” said the Premier. “This is the biggest investment in arts infrastructure since the Gallery of Modern Art and will further boost our state’s cultural vibrancy and support and showcase our local arts sector.

“Following an Expression of Interests process, five shortlisted consultants will now go on to develop concept designs for the new 1500-seat theatre, with the successful applicant to be announced later this year. This project will create more than 100 jobs during construction. With QPAC nearing full capacity, this new theatre will ensure our state’s four home companies (including Queensland Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Queensland and Queensland Theatre) can continue to grow and will enable them to perform in front of audiences that will be double their usual size.”

Deputy Premier and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said the new theatre would be a wonderful addition to the internationally-recognised Queensland Cultural Centre, which already attracts millions of visitors every year. “The new theatre will make QPAC Australia’s largest performing arts centre, with the potential to host an extra 300,000 visitors each year when fully operational,” she said. “People come from across the state and the country to our community of South Brisbane to visit QPAC and this new theatre will make it even bigger and better.”

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