Adelaide Festival Plaza redevelopment

Adelaide Festival Plaza is set to become a world-class destination and the heart of the Adelaide Riverbank's Core Entertainment Precinct.

About the plaza redevelopmentVision for the plazaPlaza designWatch the progressRedevelopment scheduleWorking with the communityDesign conceptsLatest news

About the plaza redevelopment

The Adelaide Riverbank is fast becoming our city’s success story and is changing the way our state is viewed interstate and overseas

The upgrade of the Adelaide Festival Plaza is key to delivering a Riverbank that not only generates economic growth, but becomes a compelling destination of choice for local, interstate and overseas visitors by enhancing the public experience and improving how the area is used and perceived.

Back in March 2015, Renewal SA embraced an opportunity to leverage other development happening in and around the Adelaide Riverbank by developing a proposal with Walker Group Holdings Pty Ltd for the integrated redevelopment of the Adelaide Festival Plaza site.

The plaza redevelopment will see 16,500m2 of public space established in the areas surrounding the Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Railway Station, Adelaide Casino, Parliament House and Old Parliament House and Station Road.

The upgrade of the public realm will be supplemented by the construction of a 24-storey office tower, retail space and a redeveloped, 1560-space car park. Upgrades are also being made to the Adelaide Festival Centre (AFC), for more information visit the Adelaide Festival Centre website.

The state government has committed $180 million towards the project, supported by a $430 million contribution from Walker.

These commitments will be enhanced by the $330 million expansion of the Adelaide Casino by SKYCITY Adelaide Pty Ltd.

Targeting the separation of vehicle and pedestrian movements and remaining sensitive to the existing culture and heritage of the location, the new plaza will be the centrepiece of a revitalised arts, cultural and leisure space embracing the Riverbank at the heart of our vibrant city.

Plans for the redevelopment of the Adelaide Festival Plaza public realm were granted development plan consent (subject to conditions) by the Minister for Planning back on 4 May 2016.

Vision for the plaza

Adelaide Festival Plaza is set to become our city’s premier public meeting place—an engaging, safe and accessible space for all to enjoy

Working in close partnership with industry specialists and interest groups, the Riverbank Authority developed five 'place principles' to ensure the vision for the plaza was reflected in any concept designs for the site.

#1: A compelling destination
Adelaide’s premier entertainment destination and an engaging place that welcomes people from all walks of life.

#2: The heart of the Riverbank
An integrated part of the Adelaide Riverbank, with coordinated places and programs, and clear connections within and beyond the plaza.

#3: Event-ready space
Well serviced with built-in facilities and infrastructure to enable convenient and elegant adaptation for temporary events, festivals and performances of different scales and durations.

#4: Dynamic and evolving place
A place that offers a different experience every time, that celebrates the seasons, and is brought to life by a balance of curated and spontaneous activities.

#5: Distinctive place
Adelaide Festival Plaza will be a memorable and distinctive place that embodies a unique account of the people, cultural life and character of Adelaide, combining relaxed sophistication with creative endeavour.

Plaza design

The upgraded Festival Plaza will become a unique, world-class hub for the arts, culture, tourism and entertainment

Watch the progress

Since redevelopment of the iconic Adelaide Festival Plaza began in December 2016 it has been constantly changing.

Watch the Adelaide Festival Plaza redevelopment project site progress in the following time lapse video.

Adelaide Festival Plaza, February 2017–December 2018

Since the Adelaide Festival Plaza redevelopment began in December 2016, significant work has gone into preparing the plaza and restricting access for construction, with hoarding around the entire 3.9 hectare site.

Time lapse video began being captured in early 2017 with the demolition and removal of bridges, clearing of existing roads, relocation of sewer and stormwater mains, and preparation of the site for construction.

From mid-to-late-2017 site activity was focused on the construction of 342 concrete piles that will form the foundations for the SKYCITY Adelaide Casino redevelopment and surrounding public realm.

Between early and mid-2018 site activity was focused on the grade separation works that will enable precinct service and delivery access beneath the future Festival Plaza.

By mid-2018 construction had begun on the $330 million SKYCITY Adelaide Casino redevelopment, with the first three floors of the concrete structure being completed by the end of 2018.

Watch other Adelaide Festival Plaza time lapse videos on Vimeo.

Redevelopment schedule

In May 2016, two agreements key to the commencement of the plaza redevelopment were signed

The development agreement between the state government and Walker Group Holdings Pty Ltd will result in the construction of an office building, retail area, upgraded car park, new public realm/area and the early works for expansion of the Adelaide Casino.

A staged approach to construction works aims to limit the impact on Riverbank visitors and those businesses located in the immediate surrounds.

Early works


Per the early works agreement signed by the state government and SKYCITY, construction began in November 2016 and involves the lowering of Festival Drive, which will separate vehicle and pedestrian movements and enable direct, on-foot access between the Riverbank Footbridge and Adelaide Railway Station. It will also include the early foundation work required to support the Adelaide Casino expansion.

In January 2017 works commenced on the northern side of the Adelaide Festival Centre to widen the east-to-west promenade, including the ‘Walk of Fame’, to create a seamless connection between the plaza and King William Street. This improved access on the river side of the centre also supports the creation of the new Festival Centre entry point to enable easier access to performances at the Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre. In July 2017 the Festival Theatre closed its doors for an upgrade, reopening in December 2017 with refurbished foyer, entry and new cafe and eatery.

This early works stage is scheduled for completion by early 2018, after which SKYCITY are expected to commence the Adelaide Casino expansion works.

Car park and public realm works


On site demolition commenced from July 2017 to enable the construction of the car park and the first section of the new public plaza, which is expected to be completed by 2020. The office building and retail spaces are scheduled to be finished by 2022.

The Adelaide Festival Centre car park was closed to facilitate development in December 2016.

Riverbank access during construction


The Riverbank Footbridge will remain open throughout the project, however public access will be restricted and temporary infrastructure will be installed to provide sporting event attendees with access between Adelaide Oval and the Adelaide Railway Station.

Hoarding and signage has been installed to help visitors navigate and keep them safe during construction. To assist you navigating to your Adelaide Riverbank destination download the current map.

Adelaide Railway Station Northern Doors


The Adelaide Railway Station Northern doors are now open, subject to occasional temporary closure to allow for construction activities.

The doors will open for major events on the Adelaide Riverbank (including Adelaide Oval events such as the Big Bash series, international cricket matches and AFL games) and are typically open at least two hours prior to the event starting.

Working with the community

There has been strong community support for an upgrade of the plaza and to take the once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a world-class meeting space that all South Australians can be proud of and will want to spend time in

Design concepts

Concept designs were developed by ARM Architecture and landscape architecture consultants Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) in collaboration with the Adelaide Festival Centre’s architectural consultants Hassell

The following design plans and images are indicative only and subject to change.
Click on images below to view larger versions and image descriptions.

Latest news

Adelaide Riverbank transformation continues with lighting, art installations

22nd March 2017 in Adelaide Riverbank, Festival Plaza, media releases, news

The transformation of Adelaide’s riverbank is set to continue with requests for proposals issued for new interactive lighting and art installations. The State Government and the City of Adelaide are calling for an experienced contractor to...

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Work begins on $23m Adelaide Festival Centre Northern Promenade

3rd February 2017 in Festival Plaza

Construction has begun on a $23 million transformation of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s riverside façade, the Northern Promenade. The project is a key element of the Festival Centre’s revitalisation. It will create a striking new northern...

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All signs point to Adelaide Riverbank

6th December 2016 in Adelaide Riverbank, Festival Plaza, media releases

The redevelopment of the Adelaide Festival Plaza will see it become a unique world-class hub for the arts, culture, tourism and entertainment; the place to meet, relax and enjoy. "In the meantime there will be changes to accessibility around the...

Read More
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