Whether you’re watching a show, taking in a visual arts exhibition or enjoying a picnic at New Farm Park, there’s no escaping the striking architecture of Brisbane Powerhouse; a pre-war industrial power station turned iconic arts centre.
Brisbane Powerhouse is a building that transcends time, holding close its memories of the city. The industrial red brick facade, interior steel beams, gantry, generator and cement floors are remnants of Brisbane’s tram days; when, in the early-mid 1900s, the city was serviced by a bustling tram system.
As a power station, Brisbane Powerhouse supplied electricity to the trams, as well as a range of inner city suburbs. When this tramway was decommissioned in the 60s, a new crowd moved in. Hordes of squatters and artists made their home amongst dangerous industrial structures and left a legacy of graffiti, or what is now officially known as heritage-listed aerosol art.
Brisbane Powerhouse sits along the Brisbane River, and New Farm Park is our backyard. Nowadays we are surrounded by family homes and low-rise apartment buildings, and our energy reflects our surrounding community. The building is now open to everyone – international and local artists, idealists, rebels, revellers and families.
Our on-site restaurants boast exquisite river views, treating diners to contemporary Italian food (Bar Alto) and modern Australian fare (Watt). We also have artists-in-residence creating fantastic new works, a year-round program of festivals and events and tenants from a variety of industries. From a once-bustling power-station to a centre for contemporary culture, Brisbane Powerhouse is still open and a place where things are built that electrify the city. We’re not merely a frame, we are the art within.