Design advice for state agencies and local government

The Office of the Queensland Government Architect (OQGA) provides comprehensive design thinking and strategic advice about architecture and urban design. We work with state departments, agencies and local government to enhance the quality of our built environments across Queensland.

We’re committed to collaboration, research, evidence-based advice and public benefit. Our aim is to add value while balancing design, project constraints and commercial realities. We provide tailored solutions to any strategic or project specific design challenge

Led by the Government Architect, the OQGA can provide project and policy advice for significant and major public projects to support best-practice outcomes for Queensland communities.

Our advice can include:

  • urban design and architecture
  • heritage
  • project design review
  • early project development
  • shaping and developing urban policy
  • design brief development
  • design excellence procurement advice.

Queensland Urban Design and Places Panel

For the design of major infrastructure and urban planning projects the OQGA can also facilitate design advice through the Queensland Urban Design and Places Panel (QUDaPP). QUDaPP, chaired by the Government Architect, is an independent design advisory panel made up of experienced specialists in the built environment.

Read more about QUDaPP

Case studies

Density and diversity done well social housing demonstration projects

Artists impression of Gold Coast Social Housing Demonstration Project by Anna OGorman

The Queensland Government, through its social housing program, designs and constructs a large number of homes every year. This provides homes for Queensland’s most vulnerable, meeting diverse health and accessibility considerations while encouraging inclusivity and resilience. These homes need to be designed in a way that considers the Queensland climate and the changing needs of the resident over time.

On 19 December 2018, the Honourable Mick de Brenni, Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport announced that the department will deliver 20 social housing demonstration projects in partnerships with private sector architects, building on the ideas that came out of the Density and Diversity Done Well competition.

The OQGA is currently working with the Department of Housing and Public Works to:

  • scope and commence the 20 projects
  • establish a design excellence panel of architects to deliver the projects
  • develop new social housing design guidelines through demonstration.

Read more about the Density and Diversity Done Well Competition

Read more about the Density and Diversity Done Well Social Housing Demonstration Projects

New Performing Arts Venue

Artists impression of New Performing Arts Venue at QPAC by Blight Rayner + Snøhetta

The Queensland Government has committed to deliver a $150 million New Performing Arts Venue (NPAV) on the Playhouse Green site at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre to meet the growing demand for performing arts experiences available in Brisbane. The proposed 1,500 seat theatre will strengthen Brisbane’s cultural tourism offering and reinforce the state’s cultural credentials in becoming a destination in the Asia-Pacific region.

OQGA assisted Arts Queensland to develop a detailed brief that outlines the project scope, ambition and function for the consultants, contractors and the client group. The collaborative process included addressing a range of opportunities and challenges within the site to ensure the future success of the theatre.

Healthy places, healthy people

There is strong evidence that the form, function and quality of the environments in which we live can support or hinder healthy living. This relationship is becoming increasingly recognised in government policy and priorities, nationally and internationally.

The Queensland Government’s investment in built and natural environments is significant. The Department of Health together with the OQGA and Department of State Development, Manufacturing Infrastructure and Planning are leading an initiative under Our Future State: Keep Queenslanders healthy. This initiative, Healthy Places, Healthy People, seeks to bring Queensland Government agencies together to measure, monitor, report and better understand our collective impact on Queensland’s built and natural environment features, which have been proven to support healthy and active living.

All Queensland Government agencies that either invest in, or have policy oversight for, the built and natural environment are being asked to contribute to the initiative.

Healthy Places, Healthy People aims to help us plan and deliver more great places that help keep Queenslanders healthy now and for years to come.

Inner city vertical high schools

Artist impression for new Inner City South State Secondary College by BVN

Over the last 10 years around 5,000 additional students have joined state schools in and around the Brisbane CBD. This growth is set to continue with another 3,000 students expected to move into inner-Brisbane in the next 5 years. To address this growth, the Queensland Government is investing $808 million through its Building Future Schools program.

OQGA has provided strategic advice on the role of education within a broader city context, leading to participation in the precinct selection process. The office’s QDesign principles were incorporated into the education brief to ensure the 2 new vertical high schools responded to local climate, form and character to deliver an exemplar educational outcome and experience unique to Brisbane. OQGA representatives also contributed to the assessment process for head consultancy and design services together with community consultation and information events, design workshops and Enquiry by Design processes with key stakeholders.