Architectus’ award winning design opted to buck the dark-box trend and use daylight, and open floor plan, large overhangs and balconies to create an open light filled space. The resulting building is spectacular but it made for some challenging engineering solutions to make good the design.
WSP’s sensitive building design made good the architect’s vision with sustainable and innovative solutions.
Especially challenging was the huge amount of glazed facades which made the building vulnerable to outdoor climates and southern Queensland’s intense daylight when ensuring the artwork could be delivered and displayed in an atmosphere that protected it at all times; this meant temperature, humidity and light levels.
WSP’s solution saw an Australian design first. Using floor fed displacement ventilation to maintain the galleries temperature and humidity, they could ensure stability at all times, in every part of the gallery. This was essential to the building functionality and could make or break the gallery’s potential to borrow important artwork.
Other key initiatives included passive design achieved through overhanging roof, sun-shading elements and façade materials; campus wide central energy plant; a generous sized roof that shades the walls at critical times of the day; natural light including day-lighting studies to maximise natural light to public spaces without affecting displayed artwork; and, river heat rejection.
The gallery has two major levels of exhibition space, two cinemas, education facilities, restaurant and boardwalk cafe. In total there are fifteen gallery spaces which have their own particular character and function which each differ in scale, material and use of light. It has a total floor area over 25 000 m² and the largest exhibition gallery is 1100 m².
2007 RW Hawken Award Engineering Excellence Awards Queensland
2007 Regional Award Royal Australian Institute of Architects Queensland
Client - Queensland Cultural Centre
Location - South Bank, South Brisbane
Architect - Architectus and Davenport Campbell
Project Value - AUD $120 Million
Completion Date - December 2006
Scope of Services
Sustainability by WSP Built Ecology
Lighting by WSP Vision Design