Army barracks going back to World War One have been transformed into an advanced creative hub, designed to foster the next generation of artists.  

Stage Two of the Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Precinct (CIP2) - located within the Kelvin Grove Urban Village on the fringe of Brisbane's CBD - brings together actors, dancers, musicians, writers, visual artists and academic researchers.  

HASSELL created the vision for the $90 million precinct in partnership with Richard Kirk Architects.  

With the key themes of education, heritage and interaction coexisting within a public space, there is a sense of vibrancy in the placement of the CIP2 building at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), according to the architect.

CIP2 now boasts a 10,000sqm three-storey building along with two commercial developments that total 35,000sqm, and that are directly connected to the existing CIP stage 1 as a single gateway for students and staff associated with what has become known as the ‘Creative Industries Precinct’.

This precinct also includes primary circulation paths, meeting areas, cafes and common areas, as well as incorporating what the architect calls a student ‘street’.

The placement of course is deliberate – as HASSELL principal and project leader Mark Roehrs says, QUT wanted an environmentally-sustainable facility that would foster collaboration and interaction between the many creative disciplines, while also allowing for ample public exposure and use of space.  

“Our resultant design vision was a series of vibrant, connected, transparent and flexible buildings strategically arranged around adjoining public open spaces,” Roehrs says.  

“The building’s structured zinc-panelled fa├žade draws inspiration from the strong linear definition of the neighbouring Parade Ground, and strikes a balance between its place within the precinct and its ability to deliver the flexibility required for creative inspiration.”

"Inside, the building is intuitive in its circulation and use. Layered levels of student and staff activity are supported by open communal facilities around a central stair that drive the sense of an integrated arts community. Large windows throughout offer ample natural light and sweeping views to the city and beyond,“ he says.

Within CIP2, the precinct development strategy was intended to introduce a new high-profile faculty building up to five stories directly opposite the landmark building that has come to be known as ‘The Hub’. 

According to Greg Jenkins, head of studies, School of Media, Entertainment and Creative Industries at QUT, the studios are world class, and the public spaces are jawdropingly beautiful.  

“From the minute we opened the doors, it was clear we were on a winner. Smiles and goggle eyes everywhere.”

“The building needs no user manual, and as I suspected, the students will lead the culture in the paces,” he says.