Robin Gibson (architect)

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Robin Gibson (15 May 1930 – 28 March 2014) was an Australian architect, from Brisbane, Queensland.

Personal life[edit]

Robin Gibson was born in Brisbane in 1930.[1] attended Yeronga State School and Brisbane State High School.[2] He was an Architecture student at the University of Queensland, and graduated with a Diploma of Architecture in 1954. During his years in university, he worked in a number of architectural offices in Brisbane, and gained a lot of knowledge from a progressive firm called Hayes and Scott. After graduating, Gibson moved to London and worked with James Cubitt and Partners, Sir Hugh Casson and Neville Conder.[3] When Gibson was in London, he traveled across Europe and became interested in modern architecture. On his return to Brisbane in 1957, Gibson established his own practice. Most of his major projects are in Queensland, with the exception of the Belconnen Library in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. He died at the age of 83 in March 2014.[4]


Robin Gibson is devoted to raising people's consciousness of the responsibilities of the architectural act. He took into consideration the political, social and cultural needs of the environment and embracing an awareness of the outcomes in global arenas. Gibson stated that "the opportunity to create something better than what exists at present".[3] His philosophy is, a good building is one that respects its users and accommodates the needs of those outside its walls. According to Gibson, the aim of architecture is to house and magnify the experience of living.

Robin Gibson & Partners[edit]

Robin Gibson and Partners is a Brisbane-based architectural practice. In April 1973, they won a two- staged design competition which was to build the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane. Later, the design brief developed to build the whole Queensland Cultural Centre that includes the Art Gallery, the Performing Art Complex, the Queensland Museum and the State Library.[5] The company was registered at the Office of Fair Trading in Queensland in 1994.[6] The office closed May 2013.

Notable projects[edit]

Queensland Cultural Centre (1982)

State Library of Queensland

The concept of educating people about culture influenced the Queensland Government to develop the Queensland Cultural Centre. The centre is to create easy access and connection for pedestrian to be more involved with every part of the site. It consists four parts: the Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum, the State Library of Queensland and the Performing Arts Complex.[3]

Queensland Art Gallery (1975)

Queensland Art Gallery

The Queensland Art Gallery is the first stage of the Queensland Cultural Centre. It has five levels with 15,477 areas in total. In the gallery, visitors encounter different spaces and views. Its external walkways link with the museum and the Performing Arts Centre. Furthermore, the water mall is lit with natural light through acrylic domes at the top.[3]

Performing Arts Complex (Queensland Performing Arts Centre) (1986)

The Performing Arts Complex consists of three different areas: The Lyric Theatre, The Cremorne Theatre and The Concert Hall. It comprises the second stage of the Queensland Cultural Centre development. The smallest venue among these buildings is the Cremorne Theatre. The Concert Hall was designed as a classical hall to equip a concert grand organ that serve 2000 people. Similar to the Lyric Theatre, it can also house 2000 people. The orchestra pit can hold musicians with a full stage house facility that caters performance from dramas to grand opera.[3][7]

Mayne Hall, University of Queensland (1972)

The Mayne Hall building was built in 1972. The concept is to transform the hall into a multipurpose space that is suitable for all occasions. There’s an abstract design by Nevil Matthews done on six large stained glass windows, which form the eastern facade of the foyer. In addition, there are paintings and sculptures reflecting the history of the university, lined on the north main walkway along the tall concrete recesses.[8]

Brisbane: Arcade and Square (1982)

Since Brisbane sees the need to minimize high-rise buildings in the area, the Riverside Expressway was introduced to make the area motor vehicle friendly along the western side of the central business district. Combined with above ground and underground car parks, this ensures the needs of motorist are well served in the city centre. Not forgetting the needs of pedestrians, Queen Street Mall was introduced and also the covered Wintergarden Galleria plus other pedestrian arcades in the area.[9]

Other works[edit]


  • Canberra Medallion and Sir Zelman Cowan Award (1982)
  • Queenslander of the Year (1982)
  • Order of Australia (1983)
  • Advance Australia Award (1988)
  • Griffith University, bestowing honorary Doctorate (1986)
  • RAIA National Awards (2000)
  • Outstanding performance and Contributions, RAIA Gold Medal (1989)
  • Church, Kenmore, RAIA Building of the year award (1968)
  • St Stephen’s Chapel, Lachlan Macquarie Award (2000)


  1. ^ Gibson, Robin (6 October) "Aquinas Memorial Lecture: Lifestyle and the Built Environment" Lecture 6 March October 1980.
  2. ^ "Queensland Cultural Centre (entry 602844)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 February 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Architecture Australia, 1989 Sept., v.78, n.8, p.39-71
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Architecture Australia, 1986 June, v.75, no.4, p.81
  8. ^ Architecture in Australia, 1976 Feb.-Mar., v. 65, n. 1, p. 58-63
  9. ^ Architecture Australia, 1985 May, v.74, no.3, p.56-65


  • Architecture in Australia, 1968 Nov., v. 57, n. 6, p. 923-957
  • Architecture Australia, 2000 Nov.-Dec., v.89, n.6, p.[34]-69

External links[edit]