Brisbane Powerhouse is both a producer of contemporary performing arts and a multi-arts venue.
Nestled on the beautiful banks of Brisbane River (beside New Farm Park) the former power station has become a distinct landmark, both as a stunning industrial creation and as a hub for everything creative, including theatre, music, comedy, film, visual arts, festivals and ideas.
The Brisbane City Council New Farm Powerhouse was designed by Brisbane City Council Tramway architect, Roy Rusden Ogg and constructed in stages between 1928 and 1940. Built on the eastern riverside point of what is now New Farm Park, the water from the river provided cooling and the rail link supplied coal.
At its peak in the post-war years it supplied electricity for the largest tram network in the southern hemisphere as well as servicing many of Brisbanes suburbs. As trams were steadily replaced by buses, the Brisbane City Council sold the building to the state. It was officially decommissioned in 1971.
While commercially barren, the apparently derelict building provided shelter for the homeless, was a site for target practice for the army and a location for filmmakers and, as a precursor of its future a canvas for graffiti artists and a stage for underground art happenings.
Surviving two decades of neglect and a partially completed demolition project, the building was reacquired by Brisbane City Council in 1989. A significant example of industrial design of the art deco period, the power station was identified as culturally significant and the concept of a new incarnation as a centre for the arts was born.
The redeveloped Brisbane Powerhouse was designed by Brisbane City Council architect Peter Roy and was opened on 10 May, 2000 by Lord Mayor Jim Soorley. Seven years later the building underwent a further stage of development and was re-opened on 6 June 2007 by Lord Mayor Campbell Newman with increased audience capacities, restaurant and bar facilities as well as functions and conference spaces.
Brisbane Powerhouse now boasts a flexible 400 - 700 seat end on stage theatre, an intimate 200 seat apron stage theatre, an 800 viewer open platform, two restaurants, conference and rehearsal rooms and offices.
Brisbane Powerhouse is still evolving but has already cemented its role in the cultural life of the city and in the artistic life of the nation as well as its place among the most innovative and lively arts centres in the world. Brisbane Powerhouse is under the artistic direction of Andrew Ross, who was appointed in 2003.
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Brisbane Powerhouse is Brisbane City Councils leading arts performance venue. Encouraging a diverse vibrant and creative city is one way Council is achieving its shared vision for living in Brisbane 2026.
Telephone: 07 3358 8622
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