Building the Magic
Building the magic
APRIL 2021 – SEPTEMBER 2021
The Level 4 roof terrace structural steel is underway and what a view it’s going to be from the Kite Terrace.
Studio 1 is finalising the install of lighting and curtain tracks and the first of the studio dance floor installation is due to start second week of September, with the remaining studios to be completed by late September.
Keep an eye out for the landscaping of the Montague gardens, which will begin this month.
Studio Theatre Rises
NOVEMBER 2020 – MARCH 2021
Hansen Yuncken began installation of the pre-cast concrete wall panels on the Ground Floor level at the Drake Street end of the site in late November 2020. The final concrete pour on the mid-site Ground Floor occurred in December. Level 1 concrete pours began on 20 January, although a period of wet weather resulted in some scheduled pours for Level 1 and Basement 2 being deferred until February.
The structural steel framework for the Studio Theatre is now in place, allowing us to see what an impressive structure this building will be. The Theatre will be acoustically sealed by three wall layers: an inner skin of concrete panels, a middle layer of sound-absorbent Hebel panels; and an exterior layer of concrete panels, shotblasted to create a warm, textural finish, similar to the exterior walls of QPAC.
The heritage site
As is common when working on heritage sites, asbestos was found in a number of places throughout the Thomas Dixon Centre heritage building; all has now been safely removed.
As the construction progresses, fine-detailed drawings (‘shop drawings’) for the structural steel elements, including stairs and balustrading, are produced by engineers who take precise, on-site measurements. Our Brisbane-based steel manufacturers, Idec, use these drawings as the blueprint to produce all the millimetre accurate steel components.
Shop drawings were recently completed for the internal stairs at both ends of the Thomas Dixon Centre heritage building. The restoration and installation (including glazing and painting) of the nine-pane windows on all sides of the Thomas Dixon Centre heritage building was completed in February. Replacing the previous louvres, and aligning with heritage restoration protocols, the new windows reference those which were first installed when the Thomas Dixon boot factory was constructed in 1908.
We are eagerly anticipating delivery of the sprung floors for our studios. Specialist supplier, Harlequin, has manufactured the bespoke floors in Europe. They have been shipped to Sydney and will arrive on-site in the coming weeks for installation by Harlequin’s technicians.
A build of two halves
We are entering a truly exciting phase in the build, as the new structures begin to rise above ground level and the connecting space of The Ian Potter Promenade emerges. It’s particularly thrilling to see the framework for our new Studio Theatre in place – now we really can imagine these walls enclosing a crucible of creative art!
The scope of this landmark infrastructure project was evident when the 500th worker engaged for Hansen Yuncken’s Main Works was inducted onto the site on 15 February – the Thomas Dixon Centre Redevelopment is clearly having a significant job creation impact in our community.
More structural work
SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2020
Recent months have seen good progress made in both the heritage building remediation/preparation and the new construction works. With the structural work for basement and car park levels nearly complete, the new buildings will soon begin to be visible at street level. When the ground floor is fully poured to Drake Street, the project will be progressed through precast concrete panels.
Now cleaned and repointed, the internal brickwork in the heritage building looks beautiful and will create a warm ambience in the studios and offices in the old building.
JUNE – AUGUST 2020
We are excited to share with you the recent progress on our Thomas Dixon Centre Redevelopment. With a crane and concrete pumping unit now in place, work has been continuing at pace across the site and it’s a hive of construction activity!
Car Park levels are rising from the deep excavation and in the coming weeks, structural steelwork and panels will be delivered as the new building structures begin to take shape above ground.
Off-site, specialist heritage brickwork restorers Mozbiz are carefully working on the bricks from the WWII bunkers, which when replaced in situ will define the inviting space of the Bunker Bar.
Consultation and main works builder appointed
A public consultation was held on Friday 5th June, 2020 to explain the work required to complete the redevelopment of the Thomas Dixon Centre.
Leading the discussion was project architects Conrad Gargett, Queensland Ballet and principal contractor Hansen Yuncken, recently appointed by the Queensland Government.
Hansen Yuncken commenced the Main Works build in May after the successful completion of the Early Works by Hutchinson Builders.
Due to the COVID-19 social distancing requirements the meeting was held online.
Lady Potter visits
This week, Lady Potter of Ian Potter Foundation took her first hard-hat tour of the Thomas Dixon Centre and was very excited by what she saw. As most of you know, Ian Potter Foundation’s donation to our Capital Campaign launched our dreams to refurbish our home so it felt very good to be able to show Lady Potter around.
Today marks a milestone for our Thomas Dixon Centre project as the tenders for Major Works closed. A core team of Queensland Ballet and Queensland Government will now look over the tender submissions as we seek to engage the builder to finish our project.
1000s of bricks
Construction continues onsite, with heritage brickwork company Mozbiz carefully removing, numbering, cleaning and replacing thousands of bricks (in exactly the same spots as they were before!). Their skilled team use generations of expertise as they work on just one part of the renovation of this historic, heritage-listed building.
Capital works update
Work on-site is well underway, and we are moving closer to our goal of creating an outstanding new home for Queensland Ballet which will be both a state-of-the-art performing arts destination and a welcoming community hub.
Project management of Thomas Dixon Centre redevelopment was assigned to the Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW), owners of the heritage listed Thomas Dixon building since 1975.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni attended a symbolic ‘sod-turning’ event on 13 August with Queensland Ballet donors, supporters and staff, to officially announce the beginning of work on the Thomas Dixon Centre redevelopment.
Following a tender process, Hutchinson Builders was awarded the Early Works contract. Work began on 13 August.