The Thomas Dixon Centre is a state-heritage listed building that originally opened in 1908 as a shoe factory and has been the home to Queensland Ballet since 1991. It has now been transformed into a world-class performing arts destination and cultural precinct. A central promenade connects the existing building to a new extension, with the revitalised centre featuring six dance studios, a 350 seat theatre auditorium, production and costume workshops, public art, bunker bar, a rooftop terrace, café and basement carpark levels.
Warringtonfire Australia was engaged by Qbuild to undergo the fire safety engineering for the Thomas Dixon Centre. Our team of fire safety engineers used extensive performance based fire engineering solutions to achieve the key architectural design objectives of retaining the timber and masonry fabric of the existing Thomas Dixon Centre portion, having a large open entry foyer space and a flexible auditorium.
We reviewed the design from first principles and incorporated active and passive fire safety measures that could be demonstrated to provide the required level of safety for patrons of the overall building. This included demonstrating the existing levels of fire safety within the Thomas Dixon Centre were adequate and would not be affected by the new works. Structural fire safety engineering was also employed to the steel frame system within the new auditorium, to facilitate the operational requirements of Queensland Ballet. Evacuation modelling was undertaken for the overall building.
The significance of the building also required close coordination with the stakeholders, including Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
"Photography by Chris Wardle, Conrad Gargett"
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