In May 2018, the Queensland Government, together with QPAC, announced their commitment to deliver a new $150 million theatre on the Playhouse Green site in the South Bank of the Brisbane River. The New Performing Arts Venue (NPAV) will house a brand new 1,500 seat theatre to meet audience and producer demand, supporting the continued development of performing arts in Queensland. This world class facility provides an extra 260 performances per year, allowing the venue to host an additional 300,000 visitors annually.

NDY was initially engaged by architect Blight Rayner to provide design services and to assist with their international design competition submission. Managing contractor Lendlease also commissioned NDY to provide engineering design solutions to the new venue, noting that the design had to account for flood levels to mitigate any potential damage from future flooding.

Aside from meeting the unique terms of the architect’s design aesthetic, which had a detailed curved glass facade, there was also a need to comply with the Heritage Council due to the main complex being on the Queensland Heritage Register. The constrained building site was adjacent to a heritage precinct. The proposed design required innovative engineering solutions that should properly integrate with the state-of-the-art architectural and structural design, including CFD modelling to prove the air conditioning system’s performance. Through a collaborative approach with the structural engineers and architect, NDY was able to overcome these key considerations by coordinating with all stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes.

To improve the space, NDY designed building systems for changing spaces, which provides flexibility and allows a broad range of performances. For example, the lobby spaces’ lighting and ventilation systems will be designed in a manner that enables themed entries with high levels of fresh air. To minimise the impact on the architectural aesthetic, NDY ensured that all building services were concealed.

NPAV is one of the most anticipated developments to be built in Queensland and will become part of the largest performing arts centre in Australia. NDY’s contributions to the project were well commended by the client due to the long-term impact that their solutions provide to the new venue.