Old Government House designed by prominent Government Architect Charles Tiffin and completed in 1862 is of high cultural heritage significance as both a private residence for the governor and as the official state office. It was an important hub in the early colonial life of Brisbane following Queensland's separation from New South Wales in 1859. In addition to serving as a vice-regal residence, Old Government House played an important symbolic role in the early years of the colony. Its grand Greek Revival style design, adapted to the Brisbane climate and landmark location high on the promontory at Gardens Point made it an impressive sight for visitors and new immigrants arriving by ship.
The key elements of the brief in the conservation and adaptive reuse of Old Government House include:
- Conservation and restoration of the building fabric, both internal and external
- Adaptation of the building for a new cultural role as the community focus of the QUT Gardens Point Campus
- The establishment of the William Robinson's Gallery on the first floor to house QUT's William Robinson permanent collection and exhibitions
- An interpretive centre for the House, with 'state of the art' virtual colonial tour, interactive displays and podcast guides
- Adaptation of the early kitchen into a café with catering facilities
- New amenities, accessibility upgrade and DDA lift