Gold Coast Cultural Precinct
In Brief

Council of the City of Gold Coast

Queensland, Australia


Competition entry

Martha Schwartz Partners 

The Gold Coast Cultural Precinct is a celebration of the rich culture of Queensland which unites intense landscapes, stunning tropical vegetation, the thrill of waterfalls and the animation of art and culture.  It is a place of fantasy, inspiration and relaxation.

Evandale lies on the flood plain between the Pacific Ocean and the Mountains: water and rock, the two most powerful features of Queensland. The distinctive topography of places like Lawn Hill or Mount Olga with ravines, peaks, domes and caves all hewn from the earth, draw us curious humans to explore and discover.

The new “mountain” of spaces builds onto the existing theatre to create a new vertical adventure. The mountain represents a massive volume that has been eroded and split by water to create two distinctive routes and axes. The two halves of the building are both connected and separated by a central “gorge” that runs from the approach off Bundall Road through to the river and gives views back to the city skyline and the coast. 

The two principal volumes on either side of the gorge climb up from low level terracing and have distinctive characters and functions. The northern “yang” side wraps the existing, refurbished theatre with additional black box spaces, providing dark cave-like rooms buffered against the sun. The southern “yin” volumes provide shaded daylit spaces for the principal collection and gallery spaces as well as learning and studio spaces at higher levels.