The Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Chapter is calling for the Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre to be listed on the State Heritage Register ahead of an expected announcement by the Heritage Council tomorrow.
The Institute nominated the buildings in 2014 for their cultural significance to the local landscape. While a listing would not prevent the buildings from being altered, it would require any amendments to be done in a careful and sensitive manner that does not devalue their integrity as exceptional and important pieces of Australian architecture.
This nomination is the first time the Institute has nominated a building since inception of the legislation in 1992. In nominating the buildings, the Institute highlighted their importance not just as significant and valuable pieces of architecture, but also the central role the precinct – as a low-rise and green space – plays in the legibility of public space within the city.
We would like to remind the Heritage Council that recent contemporary buildings can also be of great cultural significance. As time goes on it is these contemporary modern buildings that will be lost from our cities if we are not careful in identifying and protecting them through the Heritage Legislation.
The Queensland Art Gallery by Robin Gibson & Partners Architects is one of the finest buildings in Australia and represents a high point for the profession, the building industry and the public leadership who were collectively responsible for the complex. The quality of construction is rarely delivered these days and the exceptional concrete work some of the best in the world. It was the recipient of the Institute’s Sir Zelman Cowen Award in 1982, the nation’s highest public architecture honour.
Richard Kirk FRAIA
President Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter