Flowstate is a 3000 sqm urban renewal project which blurs the distinctions between landscape and architecture, theatre and public space. Through an invited competition Stukel Stone were selected as the lead consultant to transform South Bank’s aging Arbour View Café precinct into a vibrant, 3-5 year long open-air pavilion and creative space. The new area comprises of three distinctive experiences including a grassy relaxation zone, an immersive digital installation, and a vibrant performance pavilion complete with theatre curtains and technical lighting and sound equipment.
What was the brief?
This visionary project was devised by South Bank Corporation as a mechanism to innovate public space and stimulate conversation about what a city can and should be. “Around the world, leading public precincts are constantly evolving and it is the Corporation’s role to oversee, adapt and transform South Bank so it remains relevant, desirable and exciting both publicly and commercially,” South Bank Corporation Chair Dr Catherin Bull AM.
What were the key challenges?
The project's key challenges were working with a very small budget on such a large site area, and completing the works in a set time frame, to be ready for an opening to the public. The previous use of the site also contrasted greatly with the proposed new use and the design solution needed to radically rethink the planning and circulation of the whole site.
What were the solutions?
The design approach was to provide multiple opportunities for viewer and performer relationships, both of a formal and informal or incidental nature. The existing levels of the site were carefully manipulated to activate a series of opportunities for viewers to sit, stand and assemble and a performer to command attention and take advantage of sight lines. The true nature of the habitation was yet to be seen, and the hope was that performers, artist and audience would use the site in further surprising and unexpected ways.
Key products used:
The Walkway was constructed from a GratEX 38mm I-Series Standard Micro Mesh, supplied by Treadwell Industrial Ochre Yellow, anti-slip surface. Typically this product is used in industrial applications and maintenance access areas in buildings.
The Beacon mesh was Aluminium ‘SUN20’ 2.0mm thick, 120x34mm openings, supplied by Locker Group. This was selected for its structural capacity to span 600mm between supports, curve in one direction, and also act as micro louvres for shading to the Pavilion.
Who are the clients and what's interesting about them?
South Bank Corporation created Brisbane’s multi-award winning precinct along the Brisbane River. They continue with the day-to-day management and marketing of the precinct and events. This project was an ambitious and creative urban experiment to uncover a direction for the future.
How is the project unique?
The first significant redevelopment in the South Bank Parklands since the award-winning River Quay in 2011, it provides a tangible demonstration of creative urban recycling in the heart of the precinct. The project was unveiled in February 2018 with a year-long multi-arts program of free creative experiences contributing to a vibrant culture of exploration and exchange across the South Bank precinct.
What are the sustainability features?
The project is inherently sustainable as it is an act of urban recycling. Public space and the existing structures have been retained but altered for a new use with minimal demolition and additional built material.