A 611-seat proscenium theatre, The SGIO Theatre, Turbot Street, Brisbane opened in 1969, before the SGIO Tower was finished, and majestically hosted shows through the ’80’s. Resident home of The Queensland Theatre Company, and host to many other companies.
The Queensland Government purchased the site, and the design of the State Government Insurance Office (SGIO) building was the result of an internal competition held by Conrad and Gargett in 1967. This competition was won by Keith Frost, who designed a stark 28 story high concrete building with a steel frame, modeled after the PanAm building in New York. The most important feature of Frost’s design was the rotation of the building in relation to the city grid. This led to a north-south orientation to optimize internal sun control.
The building’s rotation however necessitated the acquisition of the adjacent plot from the Methodist Church, which was occupied by the Albert Hall on Albert Street, which was subsequently demolished to create a spacious forecourt with lavish water features. As compensation, the SGIO incorporated a 611 seat (medium size) theatre in its design, with input from several of the Brisbane theatre companies, along Turbot Street, which became the resident home of The Queensland Theatre Company.