Flipside’s new home puts the fun in functional
17 October 2022
Big. Bold. Playful.
While these terms are synonymous with circus they are just as applicable to the brand-new Brisbane Circus Centre taking shape at Northshore Brisbane. The exciting addition to Brisbane’s immersive riverfront precinct is the new home of Flipside Circus, Queensland’s largest youth arts organisation and an award-winning company committed to training, performance and advancing Brisbane’s world-leading circus sector.
The innovative, purpose-built structure overlooks Maritime Green and is crafted from shipping containers and prefabricated materials to create an iconic building that is uniquely circus. The Brisbane Circus Centre is the latest brushstroke on Northshore’s cultural canvas and an open invitation for visitors to immerse themselves in the precinct’s creative energy.
Flipside Circus Creative Director and CEO Robert Kronk said Stage One of the unique four-storey building was on track to open towards the end of 2022.
“We wanted a space that was big and bold and playful and it absolutely ticks those boxes,” Mr Kronk said. “Not only is it a new home, it’s also exciting because it’s essentially a new circus toy!
“The building is like a bit of circus apparatus in itself; it’s playful, it opens out, there are cantilevers jutting out in all directions and we have some really cool plans to break out of that building in novel ways and hang people off walls and overhangs. “We want to demystify what we do, we have a big open building where people can see inside and we want to spill out into the outdoors and help activate that space too.”
The Brisbane Circus Centre has been cleverly designed with Northshore Brisbane’s values of adaptability and future-proofing front of mind. As Flipside Circus begins teaching, performing and welcoming artists and audiences into the space, the building will evolve and take shape.
A rolling fit-out over the next 12 to 24 months gives Flipside Circus the advantage of testing the space and seeing its possible uses and creative applications unfold before responding. When fully operational, Brisbane Circus Centre expects to usher up to 110,000 people through its doors each year, from artists and students to audiences and community members. By comparison, Flipside’s temporary Northshore pop-up training facility welcomed just over 16,000 participants in 2021 with most classes and programs at or near capacity.
“Flipside Circus has always been a bit of a clubhouse for artists and the local community and we have loved building our community and growing deeper roots at Northshore since we moved here in mid-2020,” Mr Kronk said. “The Brisbane Circus Centre will not only help us expand our training program but the capacity to create and perform shows to share with audiences at home is really exciting.”
The centre will also host guest artists from across Australia and overseas and provide a new home base for resident companies and independent artists and collectives.
“Brisbane is a national and international hub for circus and this new home is an important way to grow audiences and the circus sector to make it more sustainable,” Mr Kronk said. “Guest artists from around the country are going to love the amenity of this space.
“It’s really exciting to stand at Maritime Green looking back at the building because from a built environment point of view, it’s exciting how the precinct flows together. “There’s wonderful opportunity being in such a fantastic location to position the Brisbane Circus Centre as a destination for artists and Northshore as a destination in itself, offering an added visitor experience for artists and audiences.”
Brisbane Circus Centre is supported by The Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication’s Community Development Grants Program; Arts Queensland’s Strategic Infrastructure Fund and Economic Development Queensland; Northshore Brisbane; Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus 1; and more than 350 individual donors. Stage one of the Brisbane Circus Centre will open at its new Northshore Brisbane home at Dock B, 221 MacArthur Avenue, Hamilton in late 2022.
Flipside Circus is a not-for-profit organisation and their fundraising efforts are currently focused on completing, and fitting out, Stage 1 of the Brisbane Circus Centre. Be part of Flipside’s future and donate now. Every donation goes toward their new home, a space for children and young people, and a space to support circus artists.