Defying Normality: Brisbane Opera House Design

Jesse Lockhart-Krause’s conceptual design for a new Brisbane opera house.

A former QUT student by the name of Jesse Lockhart-Krause has designed a conceptual ‘Brisbane opera house’ which challenges our current perception of design.

The building, which is built over the Riverside Expressway is an elevated opera house, designed to maximise public space at ground level to provide Brisbane with a 10,000 capacity city square for street performances, markets and seating areas which cascade down to the Brisbane River.

The performing arts and opera theatre would seat over 1400 people which would ease pressure on QPAC, which has knocked back several national performing arts events because of an overloaded schedule.

The opera house would also provide viewing platforms towards Brisbane’s western suburbs and far away mountain ranges.

The current Riverside expressway severs the connection between Brisbane and it’s river, therefore this design would reconnect the river to it’s people, in a compact and non-traditional manor, which is designed to provide maximum public space on currently underutilized land.

And while the new Brisbane Supreme and Districts court is powering ahead, the old court complex which is relatively unsightly will no doubt be demolished by the state government. Could this piece of land be used as a launching pad for a future Brisbane opera house?

The design which would be deemed as ‘controversial’ by some Brisbaneites could easily rocket Brisbane into the international spotlight for architectural and cultural achievements as it is a rather odd shaped building. However, as history shows, an odd design is a lasting design and may even be called ‘iconic’.

Take the good old Sydney opera house as an example, when the design was originally proposed back in 1957, public opinion was against both the design and government at that time, while architectural critics didn’t help either.

However instead, a human icon of world significance was created and signified that Sydney was prepared to be daring and bold.

If Brisbane continues to build ‘normal’ boring buildings which do not cause controversy, we are simply delaying the chance to finally break an invisible ceiling which has always been hanging over our city.

A ceiling which reflects Brisbane as just another nice, ‘normal’ western city. We can be bold, daring and inspiring, simply by opening our minds to unusual non-traditional architecture. Images from here.

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