Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has officially opened the new Asia Pacific headquarters of Olympic venue design firm Populous in Brisbane.
Ms Palaszczuk joined local staff and clients as well as offshore team members for a ceremony in the Populous Adelaide Street offices.
“This internationally renowned architectural firm which has designed Olympic and other outstanding facilities around the world, as well as some of our favourite local venues, makes Brisbane their main office in the Asia Pacific,” the Premier said.
“Populous has been at the top of their game for decades and today’s opening is the start of new and exciting things as they look to the future – just as we are moving further along the road to hopefully hosting the Olympics in 2032.
“Populous has a proven track record not only in designing Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games venues such as the London Olympic Stadium, but in planning events and Olympic bids.
“Since 2014, Populous has been working with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee, advising on planning and design for all competition venues.
“So today is a proud and timely moment for the owners and staff, working on the very best of Olympic and other worldwide projects from new premises right here in Brisbane.”
Minister for Education and Member for McConnel Grace Grace said Queenslanders locally would know Populous as the designers of Suncorp Stadium, Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast and the Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson.
“But it’s their export work that now accounts for 80 per cent of their earnings, and the number of staff the company employs across the Asia Pacific has doubled in the past 18 months to more than 200,” Ms Grace said.
“In recent years Populous has delivered a 50,000-seat indoor arena in Manila, the National Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, and the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.”
In recognition of those successes, Populous was the winner of the Professional Services category at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards in 2019 and was later named Australian Exporter of the Year at the Australian Export Awards.
Currently the Populous team is working on the $5 billion Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong.
Populous Managing Director Paul Henry said 100 staff would work from the purpose-built space.
“We have been growing our business from Brisbane for 20 years and we are very proud to take this step to recommit our Asian headquarters to Queensland,” Mr Henry said.
“This is an exciting day for our staff and clients, and we are very much looking forward to continuing to collaborate across the globe as we have done well before COVID-19 on exciting projects that bring people together in moments of celebration.
“Everyone that has played a part in our success should be very proud as it is a story of hard work, vision and collaboration from people that love what they do and do it exceptionally well every day.”