Right mix for Cairns Cultural Precinct


17 Feb 2011

International and national architectural expertise combined with local experience and knowledge constitutes the short list of architectural teams invited to tender concept designs for the Cairns Cultural Precinct.

Cairns Regional Council endorsed four teams of architectural firms at yesterday’s Cairns Cultural Precinct Committee following a comprehensive selection process involving multidisciplinary experts from both the government and private sector.

Cox Rayner with CA Architects (Cairns), Toland/Shigeru Ban/Fisher Buttrose (Cairns), PDT/LMN/Total Project Group (Cairns), and ARM/Total Project Group (Cairns)/edgearchitecture (Cairns)/local studio of Cairns based architects will be invited tender for the master planning and architectural design concept for the Cairns Cultural Precinct.

It is expected this tender process will be completed by early April at which time the winning tenderer will be asked to commence work on developing the master plan and concept design options for the precinct.

The four teams were chosen from a shortlist of eight, selected from 30 submissions in response to the Expression of Interest which was called in December 2010.

CEO Lyn Russell said each of the teams selected had demonstrated a high level of expertise and relevancy to the Cairns Cultural Precinct.

“All of the architects have produced buildings that are held in high acclaim internationally, and all have strong relationships with the communities that have been their clients,” Ms Russell said.

“These four teams provide a balance of architectural style, team composition, a commitment to the project brief and risk, which will all be thoroughly examined during this tender process.

“It is exciting to have this depth of talent working on one of the most significant infrastructure projects this Council has under taken.”

Members of the selection panel included Queensland Government Architect Philip Follent and Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter President Associate Professor Peter Skinner amongst other leading experts.

The panel was delighted with the high calibre of submissions from around the world.

“It was an exhaustive but exciting process determining the tender short list and the panel is convinced that these candidates have the highest level of technical skill and experience and bring remarkable creative vision and expertise to this project,” Peter Skinner said.

“Beyond the international design accomplishments of the candidate teams we took into account their understanding of the urban significance of the project to Cairns and their ability to engage the community in the development of the cultural precinct as a whole.”

Government Architect Philip Follent added: “Each of the architectural teams would bring refreshingly different approaches to the design of an exemplary piece of tropical architecture but also to achieving a place of regional significance around the Pacific rim.” 

The development of the concept designs will be supported with the advice of sub consultants which are currently being advertised.