Heath Williamson, Founding Director of Firefly Lighting and Lighting Designer Jono Perry have unveiled their plans to breathe new life into FKP’s $1.1 billion Gasworks development at Newstead Riverpark.
The multi-use Gasworks Plaza, designed to host public events and festivals, will now feature a light show choreographed to music that will decorate the Gasometer frame at night.
The creative duo have more than 30 years combined experience in lighting and both share a strong connection to the heritage-listed framework.
“Film Cinematography is lighting - it is the magic craft that enables you to turn any space into what you want it to be, with light,” said Mr Williamson.
“All you need is the space and the inspiration, and the Gasometer is the perfect example of a space to bring new life with light.
“This iconic structure brought warmth and light to Brisbane in a by-gone era and now, it is about to be brought back to life and once again, to shine a light on Brisbane.”
Mr Williamson is the brains behind the architectural lighting at Cloudland, Bucci in James Street, the Old Police Barracks on Petrie Terrace and many more projects around the country.
Mr Perry brings a different type of knowledge to the project and specialises in connecting music and light, as evident in his previous roles as Technical Director of Brisbane Festival and Producer of Riverfire, as well as working with Opera Australia.
“The combination of lights and music can be magical and our plan is to see the Gasometer become a performance in itself,” said Mr Williamson.
Mr Perry says the lighting has been designed using the latest technology, equipment and software in a way that still maintains the history and integrity of the Gasometer.
“The Gasworks played an integral role in generating light for Brisbane in the 1800s, so it only seems fighting that as the sun sets over the old frame it will once again bring light back to Brisbane erupting into the beautiful colours of the gas flame and much more,” said Mr Perry.
“There is so much history and although we have been engaged to revive the Gasometer, Heath and I are dedicated to staying true to its essence, through the use of light and colour.
“The frame will be a blank canvas - enabling a range of lighting and/or sound artists to transform the space, share their own creative vision and bring the sculpture to life in their own way, which means the light shows will always remain fresh - the possibilities are endless.”
Mark Jewell, FKP Director of Development, says the Gasworks Plaza will be a bustling open space public plaza surrounded by an array of dining and shopping outlets.
“This new plaza centred around the Gasometer will become an energetic, recreational hub for local residents, workers and members of the wider community to enjoy,” said Mr Jewell.
“Gasworks brings together a sophisticated mix of commercial office, retail and residential precincts, creating an energetic place to work, live and entertain.”
Despite the new developments, Mr Jewell said the heritage-listed framework will remain the main attraction, towering above the sculptured landscaped areas.
“The development is fast emerging as Brisbane’s equivalent to the booming Docklands business district and Southbank’s established retail and restaurant precinct in Melbourne, and the revitalization of the iconic Gasometer frame will only add to the growing appeal,” he said.
The Gasworks Plaza is set to open in the coming months, in line with the opening of Gasometer 1 - a new destination for retail, dining and entertainment, with 90 per cent of the retail space already secured.
Upon completion, Gasworks will employ approximately 5,000 workers and house 1,800 residents.