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 designRedevelopment 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

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 will commence 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. At the end of July the Festival Theatre will close its doors for a upgrade, which is scheduled for completion at the end of 2017.

This early works stage is scheduled for completion by December 2017, after which SKYCITY are expected to commence the Adelaide Casino expansion works above the plaza.

Car park and public realm works


On site demolition will commence from July 2017 to enable the construction of the car park and public realm, which is expected to be completed by 2020. The office building and retail spaces are scheduled to be finished by 2020.

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. Additionally, the Adelaide Riverbank App will assist you navigating the area, as well as keeping you informed of what's happening.

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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