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Adelaide Festival Centre wants to revamp River Torrens precinct

Adelaide Festival Centre wants to revamp River Torrens precinct
April 24, 2012

The management of Adelaide's Festival Centre has presented its vision for integrating the arts precinct into the Torrens riverbank to the South Australian Government.

Festival Centre Chief Executive Douglas Gautier last week released artists impressions of redesigned public spaces running seamlessly between the Adelaide Railway Station, Casino, Festival Centre and riverbank in a detailed presentation to South Australian Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch of key stakeholders in the Oval redevelopment.

Gautier likened the proposed concept, by architects Hassell, to Melbourne's popular Federation Square and the riverbank precincts of Brisbane and Hong Kong.

Gautier's presentation envisioned the proposed new footbridge across the River Torrens to lie between the two shells of the Festival Theatre and the Dunstan Playhouse, with an arm branching off towards the Adelaide Casino.

Gautier also said the Festival Centre concept would still work if it was decided to position the footbridge to the west of the playhouse with ramps extending from either side of the bridge.

The core of the concept surrounds a new-look plaza, which would include a new media gallery, a children's play area, a big screen for major events similar to the one at Federation Square in Melbourne, and a cinema/theatre.

Gautier told Adelaide Now "I think we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here."

Minister Conlon, who is yet to commit to either of the two options for the footbridge, spoke highly of the plans for the public space at Friday's lunch, stating "this precinct will underpin the vibrancy of the city. We can cringe and be cautious but I believe Adelaide is a big enough city to deserve a world-class (sports) stadium and a world-class arts precinct.

"This is about believing we can be as good as we can be."



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