Queensland Art Gallery
Designer: Robin Gibson & Partners
Location: South Bank, Brisbane
Professor Philip Goad: Still a modern classic, the Queensland Art Gallery has magically survived despite changes all around it, to both the Gibson-designed library and his theatres building next door.
Perhaps what makes this gallery feel timeless is its beautiful top-lit ‘Watermall’, one of the finest modern Australian gallery interiors of the 1970s.
Gibson designed the gallery after a world tour of similar institutions and what he produced was, in effect, a critique of and an improvement upon other better-known and more celebrated galleries such as Kevin Roche’s Oakland Museum of Art (1961-68).
Better lit within, better suited to its riverside site, with durable surfaces like travertine and off-white precast concrete panels, the Queensland Art Gallery was also part of a move generally in the 1970s to reclaim and reinvigorate neglected river-side sites in Australian cities as highly desirable, public open urban spaces.