The next chapter of the $2.9 billion regeneration of Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds is underway with the construction of Kings Co-op, a mixed and adaptive re-use development designed by The Buchan Group.
Located at the northern end of King Street in Fortitude Valley, Kings Co-op forms a significant part of the history of the Brisbane Exhibition, known locally as the “Ekka”, and includes the Royal Snack Bar, Sugar Pavilion and the Dairy Hall Pavilion.
The Kings Co-op redevelopment will showcase prime retail, food and beverage offerings, and provide seasonal function spaces and a multi-deck carpark.
Working with Lend Lease (Brisbane RNA Showgrounds’ Joint Venture Partner), Buchan' design links the cultural heritage and urban future aspirations of the Brisbane Showgrounds Master Plan.
The redevelopment is part of the 15-year, three-stage regeneration project for the RNA Showgrounds, which is currently in its sixth year.
The Buchan Group Associate Paul Watson said the design featured an eclectic mix of modern design with traditional showground architectural features.
“Our design embraces pavilion architecture that embodies the agricultural materials associated with the past, but placed in an urban contemporary composition," he said.
“Kings Co-op will be the focal lifestyle precinct that book-ends King Street, where the majority of the street-level retail will be focussed on quality food and beverage that enhances the area with a lively vibe.
“The transformed space will incorporate rescued materials from key warehouse and pavilion structures within the showgrounds precinct, and will breathe new life into some of the most-loved structures and meeting places already on-site at the RNA.”
Mr Watson said Buchan had also created a carpark screen system that was not only simple and cost effective, but would also allow for the use of pixels to be arranged to create urban façade art.
“Lend Lease was enthusiastic to this façade art idea and a competition for local university artists was held. The successful emerging artist, Tom Emmet, was awarded a cash prize along with the chance for his art to become a large scale piece that will be appreciated for years,” he said.
Other art pieces have been commissioned by UAP and Lister. Buchan has also created a number of fun, graphic embellishments, including a working farmer-inspired cuckoo clock.
Construction of Kings Co-op is expected to be completed in July 2017.