2019 National Architecture Awards: National Award for Public Architecture

HOTA Outdoor Stage by ARM Architecture.

Jury citation

A generative project for a new cultural precinct on the Gold Coast, the HOTA Outdoor Stage is the first project to be delivered as part of a vast riverside masterplan by ARM Architecture. Rather than an object-based approach, the masterplan uses an ingenious relational strategy that is inspired by a Voronoi diagram, allowing shifts in scale that accommodate the varied future program. A tessellated motif knits a continuous narrative through the work, informing the planning and detail resolution of the architecture.

Conceived as a traditional black box theatre, a giant openable front allows the stage to be almost endlessly reconfigured, depending on the size of the audience and the nature of the performance. The stage is conceived entirely in the round. The backstage area is carefully accommodated under a vast concrete “cliff,” above which a publicly accessible roof garden is densely landscaped with flowering native plants and brimming with birdlife.

This project clearly represents an enrichment of the original brief. Its mounded form not only animates the typology of the public amphitheatre but also reinvents the way the Nerang River is experienced.

HOTA Outdoor Stage is located in Surfers Paradise, Queensland and is built on the land of the Yugambeh people.

— HOTA Outdoor Stage was reviewed by Alexandra Brown in Landscape Architecture Australia 158.


ARM Architecture
Project Team
Howard Raggatt (design director), Jesse Judd, Mark Raggatt (project directors), Lee Lambrou (designer), Aaron Poupard (project manager), Davina Wilson (interiors), Kate McKenzie-McHarg (site manager), Lachlan McEwan (BIM manager)
Acoustic consultant Marshall Day Acoustics
Builder ADCO
Landscape consultant Topotek 1 and CUSP
Services, structural and civil consultant Arup
Specialist lighting Electrolight
Theatre planning Schuler Shook
Site details
Category Commercial / public buildings, Landscape / urban design
Type Public / civic
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 7 Nov 2019
Words: 2019 National Awards Jury
Images: John Gollings


Architecture Australia, November 2019

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