After months of speculation, the creative team behind Fortitude Valley GPO’s restoration have released the first details of its extensive renovation, and unveiled the look, feel and names of the venues set to open within the precinct in the coming months.
Commencing almost twelve months ago, the GPO reinvention has been a close collaboration between The Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Brisbane City Council, heritage architects, Zero9 builders and SpaceCubed Design Studio. The collective were committed to respecting and maintaining the history of the remarkable building, while modernising the precinct for the sustainable future of the venues that would be housed within it.
The original 1887 Victorian Italianate facade, balconies, stairwells and ceilings have been carefully preserved and refreshed, while the interior has been taken back to its original beauty – complete with exposed beams and brick, historic fireplaces and hidden features long thought lost within the GPO. A colour study revealed the historic paint tones of the building which features heavily in the final designs.
SpaceCubed Design Studio Director Arran Woollams said there has been no compromises on any part of the precinct which has resulted in both timeline and budget extensions.
“With a project of this magnitude, and a job requiring such impeccably high standards, we wanted to ensure every detail was meticulously executed. This has resulted in some unfortunate delays and budget extensions, but it was recognised from the outset that no compromises in ensuring the precinct and the venues were designed and constructed to meet the rising expectations of the Brisbane hospitality scene.” Mr Woollams said.
With the building restoration and the venue fit-outs all being conducted by the same creative team (much the same as was done for the neighbouring Calile precinct), the expectation is that guests will enjoy the complimentary architecture, look and feel across the precinct.
Mr Wollams said “The creative team have worked tirelessly to ensure the building and the venues blend seamlessly. To do that we’ve crafted both complementary and bespoke elements for each location. This ensures continuity, but also allows each venue to express their differing personalities, from hand beaten copper detailing, one-off chandeliers, and a stunning glass art installation comprising thousands of individual pieces that we can’t wait to reveal soon.”
The names of the three venues opening within the reimagined GPO precinct have been announced as, TAMA, The Gatsby and The Tax Office.
Taking centre stage on the development’s ground floor will be contemporary high-end restaurant TAMA, a reservoir of natural light courtesy of soaring ceilings and double story windows. Modern accents feature in soft furnishings, stone and marble flooring and considered greenery which complement the original beams and custom chandeliers. Executive Chef Richard Ousby, whose storied history includes lead roles at Quay Sydney and Stokehouse, describes TAMA as a charismatic dining experience, with a distinctly modern flair for indulgence.
“TAMA offers something for all occasions with an expansive ground floor restaurant and a mezzanine that can play host to private dining for 40 guests, and more intimate rooms for parties of six to eight. We’ll be revealing more details about the venue and it’s offering within the coming weeks as we get closer to open”
About The Gatsby
Nestled on the upper level of the precinct will be The Gatsby, an upscale bar where legacy architecture fuses with modern luxury through leather accents, brass features and low lying velvet booths that become sanctuaries for socialising. Guests will also marvel at the original 1887 vault which has been carefully restored and primed for private tours after opening.
Partner Alan Hunter said the cocktail and whisky bar is the late night haunt for after-work drinks, or for those looking to keep the adventure going after an earlier lunch or dinner.
“It feels like you’re being thrown back into the soirees of the 1920s golden age—it’s an incredibly unique venue which will have exemplary service to match.”
About The Tax Office
More details surrounding The Tax Office will be released in coming weeks, but the impressive island bar and lounge area revealed in the renders suggest this will be Brisbane’s new go to for mid-week dinners and after work cocktails.
General Manager Ross McFarlane said “due to some fitout delays we can’t say much more, other than we expect to open in the coming months.”
The entire precinct build from the restoration to the venue build-outs has been centrally managed by renowned hospitality architects SpaceCubed Design Studio, who are responsible for other iconic Brisbane venues including Southside, Donna Change, Iris Rooftop and Boom Boom Room. Construction is led by Zero9, who have most notably worked on The Dorsett Hotel, The Star, Edwards and Co in The Calile Precinct, Hard Fizz Burleigh, and a number of luxury and commercial builds.
More precise information will be released in the coming weeks including the impressive food and beverage offerings at TAMA and The Gatsby, both of which are anticipating an early June 2023 opening.
The Tax Office
For more information: https://thegpo.au/
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