Submitted by Parisa Ziaesaeidi

New Cultural Hub: Rehabilitation of Brisbane Powerhouse as a new liveable place

Australia Architecture News - Apr 19, 2021 - 12:31   1659 views

New Cultural Hub: Rehabilitation of Brisbane Powerhouse as a new liveable place

Inside the New Farm Park, one of Brisbane’s oldest and largest parks, you can see a historic building known as Brisbane Powerhouse. This building has a long history and began its operation in 1928 producing electricity from coal transported by rail, and by pumping water from the River. The building continued to be a very effective producer of electricity, but by 1969 it was in decline with maintenance issues looming. 

"After decommissioning as a generator, the Powerhouse building was used as an army training ground and a store for dangerous chemicals," as reported by New Farm & Districts Historical Society. Opposition to the storage by residents led the state government to abandon the practice.


Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi

"Brisbane City Council purchased the building back from Queensland Electricity Commission in 1989. Street kids hung out in the derelict structure and this led to walls being covered in graffiti. The redevelopment in the late nineties preserved their graffiti as part of the building’s history and character. This development designed by Peter Roy has produced a fine lively centre for the performing arts, opened in May 2000 and refurbished in 2007 to extend its catering services and community participation", reported by New Farm & Districts Historical Society.


Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi


Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi


Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi

The materials used in the construction of the building have been mainly maintained. The new functionality of the building is known as a new kind of cultural space that has been nicely integrated into its historical context.


Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi

Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi

Finally, the redevelopment of this building is characterised by integrating high-tech industrial components into the existing structure of the building. Now, the Brisbane Powerhouse is a symbol of the transition from modernism architecture to post-modernism architecture.


Image © Parisa Ziaesaeidi


Top image courtesy of New Farm & Districts Historical Society.

> via New Farm & Districts Historical Society