Brisbane Customs House has seen many uses over the years, and our team has not only contributed to the restoration and revitalisation of the site, they also are actively updating the site for contemporary and further adaptation.
The conservation of the Brisbane Customs House (1993-4) followed an expression of interest from the Federal Government for the building’s reuse. The project was undertaken for The University of Queensland and it became the focus for the University within the Brisbane CBD. It housed a diverse range of cultural uses including a gallery for the UQ art collection, a function centre, a riverside brassiere with catering facilities, bookshop, seminar rooms and offices.
The project involved the reconstruction of much of the original room layouts which had been earlier removed. Repairs to the fabric as well as new services, included a facsimile of the original staircase and its daylight lantern above, both of which had been lost to previous refurbishment. The river front was cleared of intrusive additions which had obscured not only the river edge but the building’s river elevation. The ‘long room’ under the dome is well known to many of Brisbane’s citizens as it is now constantly used as a venue for all manner of activities and events.
Adaptive reuse works have been on-going since 1995 to meet the extraordinary success of a building much in demand including new commercial kitchen spaces, a full services upgrade, new lighting and carpet for the Long Room, new front of house office facilities, toilet upgrade, new external lighting, stone façade repairs, new function spaces including the completion of the River Room, a balcony upgrade and refurbishment of the Customs House restaurant, and entry spaces.