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A creative first for Brisbane

Sonia Nair

Addressing a gap for creative spaces in Brisbane, leading arts and culture venue Brisbane Powerhouse has partnered with design firm Luxxbox to create a newly refurbished, multi-purpose space called ThinkLab at River Studio.
A creative first for Brisbane

Suitably located on the river level of the Brisbane Powerhouse, ThinkLab at River Studio is the latest addition to an assortment of event spaces available for hire at the venue – either for ‘creative thinking’ purposes or to fulfil more traditional functions.

Brisbane Powerhouse CEO Fiona Maxwell says the idea was borne out of a creative collaboration with Jason Bird, founder as well as Managing and Creative Director of Luxxbox, on the formation of a space that is conducive to collaborative thinking, design thinking and team workshopping.

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‘We’ve all done workshops in corporate board rooms, which are great for the views, but can sometimes be a bit sterile. This space sparks creativity, fresh ideas and working in different modes,’ Maxwell says.

In Bird’s experience, there isn’t a space in Brisbane that focuses on engaging people in agile, flexible work spaces. He believes ThinkLab at River Studio is the first such space in the city that can be hired out to the wider community.

‘I knew that Brisbane Powerhouse was looking for a venue solution for River Studio, so we pitched to them that we could support a unique fitout that could become a hub of creative design thinking in Brisbane and they jumped at the opportunity.’

There are three discernible spaces in ThinkLab at River Studio, with multi-purpose and mobile furniture that allows different groups to reconfigure the layout at they see fit.  With thought boards doubling up as moving walls and curved stools also allowing for circular breakout spaces, Brisbane Powerhouse clients have many available ways in which they can use the room.

‘Brisbane Powerhouse is a heavy duty industrial building that is 100 years old. That gives it a gritty charm but also makes it cold, hard and noisy. The beauty of the Luxxbox fitting is that it softens the space – not only conceptually, but in practice,’ Maxwell says.

Bird was excited to work with the industrial aesthetic of the broken walls and the remnants of the power station situated on the Brisbane River, with ThinkLab at River Studio’s design greatly informed by its riverside location.

‘In fitting out the space, we concentrated on acoustic, sound attenuating lighting to buffer the sound of the hard surfaces.’

The initial response to ThinkLab at River Studio has been positive. Maxwell says the space is fundamental to Brisbane Powerhouse becoming a premium ‘whole of venue’ site available for corporate hire throughout the year.

‘ThinkLab at River Studio complements our other spaces, but also sets a high bar for what could be. It was great to have some of the ThinkLab range that was designed, manufactured and sold locally on show at a recent Brisbane City Council function we hosted.’  

For more information on ThinkLab at River Studio or to enquire about booking the space, visit www.brisbanepowerhouse.org/hire

About the author

Sonia Nair is a renewable energy journalist and Reviews Editor at human rights media organisation Right Now. Follow her @son_nair

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