Boots to ballet – Center redevelopment leads arts revitalization

The new federal government was welcomed by leading industry bodies including Live Performance Australia (LPA), the Australian Music Center (AMC) and the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), amid pledges to revitalize the art industry.

The election victory follows state government support for arts establishments seen in recent years, including the Queensland Labor government’s investment in the redevelopment of the Thomas Dixon Center in Brisbane, which recently underwent a major transformation of several million made by Hansen Yuncken.

Peter Salveson, CEO of Hansen Yuncken:

Australia is putting the arts back on the agenda.

The Thomas Dixon Center is the first in a wave of new and redesigned cultural centers that will play a huge role in Australia’s arts and entertainment renaissance.

Located in the West End of Brisbane, the site was built in 1908 as a boot factory. From “boots to ballet”, the Thomas Dixon Center has been converted into a performing arts center which has been home to Queensland Ballet since 1991.

This year, Hansen Yuncken’s transformation will see the facility take the form of a world-class performing arts destination and cultural district. The center has been expanded sixfold from its original size with a new theater seating 350 spectators and six studios, including a community studio.

Hansen Yuncken Queensland State Manager Greg Baumann:

Creating a world-class performance space requires intricate design to deliver everything from acoustic performances to high-end theater bars. We are delighted to have been involved and look forward to seeing the Australian arts sector continue to thrive here.

Having the opportunity to work on projects essential to the revitalization of our sector and our arts community is an absolute joy, which the entire team delivers with pride.

Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin:

The redevelopment of the Thomas Dixon Center will have a hugely positive impact on Brisbane’s arts and culture landscape.

The Thomas Dixon Center is a hub that promotes the cross-pollination of creativity, innovation and ideas between artists, dancers, audiences and visitors from all walks of life.

We would like to thank Hansen Yuncken for his dedicated work and commitment to preserving the unique historic features of the centre, which we are delighted to see become the spiritual home of Brisbane’s artistic excellence.

The transformation included the addition of an ultra-modern extension to the main building, renovation of the existing structure and a new three-story extension containing studio, rehearsal and performance spaces.


Hansen Yuncken worked with the center to integrate the historical elements with the avant-garde addition. This includes the preservation and restoration of five historic WWII air raid shelters which will in the future be converted into a bar for guest enjoyment.

The extension will include key features such as a new amphitheater-like performance hall, publicly accessible community studio, wellness center, fully equipped gym, wardrobe, locker rooms, fitting rooms and a dance hall.

Mr Salveson:

The opportunity to develop iconic cultural hubs is an exciting step as Australia recovers from a difficult few years.

It’s time for buildings like the Thomas Dixon Center to set the stage for the nation’s artistic renewal.

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