Cairns Convention Centre

Cairns, Queensland

Cairns Convention Centre was undertaken in two stages, the first for the main plenary hall, foyer and meeting spaces, and the second comprising a dual use performance and indoor sports hall.

The design for the Convention Centre is based upon three concepts. The first is developed from the influence of the region’s industrial vernacular of innovative shed structures and uses folded plate technology as the primary structure.

The second derives from the Centre’s potential appeal to ecotourism, for which a comprehensive series of environmental systems were developed.

The third is a planning response to the Centre’s role as the final ingredient in the master plan, in which the folded plate geometry allows the roof to rotate to terminate and address the urban renewal

Both the first stage 2,400 seat plenary hall and the second stage 5,800 seat performance hall have retractable seating systems which create flexibility for exhibitions, concerts, indoor sports and banquets. The roof system is exposed internally and accentuated by lighting along the bottom chords of each ‘rib’. The two halls are inserted within the roof canopy as simple box forms, creating a range of arresting geometries in the concourse and foyer spaces. Laminated plantation timber posts externally support the roof, reflecting the many rural structures in the region that served its traditional sugar industry.

  • Awards
  • Technical Information
  • Cox Team

Architectural Design Award, BHP Australian Steel Awards 2000

Harry Marks High Commendation, RAIA QLD 2000

Architectural Steel Design Award, AISC QLD 2000

State Tourism Award, RAIA QLD 1997

Commendation in Commercial Interiors, Dulux Colour Awards 1997

Award of Merit (Community). BHP Australian Steel Awards 1997

Engineering Excellence Award (Building & Civil Design), Institute of Engineers Australia (QLD Division) 1997

Metal Building Award of Excellence, BHP Coated Steel Australia 1997

Department of Public Works, Queensland Government
Project Status
Completed, 1996 (Stage 1), 2000 (Stage 2)
Key Consultants
Project Services, Arup, Aurecon (Connell Wagner), RFA Acoustic Design, WT Partnership
Contractor / Builder
Lendlease (Stage 1), Abigroup (Stage 2)
Gross Floor Area