Coast's most impressive, historic buildings to be opened to public

ICONIC: 1968-70 Lighthouses by A Fulton Regional Lighthouse Engineer, from Colin Gladstone.
ICONIC: 1968-70 Lighthouses by A Fulton Regional Lighthouse Engineer, from Colin Gladstone.

BUILDINGS define who we are. They provide a distinct sense of place.

That is what architecture is all about.

The inaugural Sunshine Coast Open House program next month will provide the chance to celebrate the region's architecture.

Speaking at the launch of the program Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey said the behind-the-scenes look at 30 public and private buildings would highlight important chapters in the region's fascinating history, from 1868 until now.

He said the event, free to residents and visitors, represented a history built in steel, glass, stone and timber those early pioneers could not have envisaged.


Tent House, Noosa hinterland, by Sparks Architects.
Tent House, Noosa hinterland, by Sparks Architects. Christopher Frederick Jones

Many of the buildings on show are from the past 30 years and that reflects the rapid growth of the region.

"It's a narrative as to how the people have responded to the Sunshine Coast environment.

"I encourage people to view this rich heritage through the unique prism of Open House.''

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the event was a key activity in the 50-year celebrations of the naming of the Sunshine Coast, a coming of age in innovative public and private building design.


Mike Ahern Centre. Image by Glenn Weiss.
Mike Ahern Centre. Image by Glenn Weiss. Glenn Weiss

"It is the chance to showcase where we are headed as well as where come from. To engage in our past and future," he said.

"As one of fastest growing regions we have a keen focus on promoting sustainable design and innovation in a built environment and are working towards becoming a leader in the cleantech space, which will open great opportunities for our Sunshine Coast into the future.''

Noosa Shire Mayor Tony Wellington said the region's very liveable climate inspired outdoor living and this in turn stimulated designs that were sympathetic to the natural environment.

"We don't simply influence our environment," he said.

"As Winston Churchil said: 'We may shape our buildings but thereafter they shape us.'

"Good architecture responds to both the landscape and human needs. This dual function is clearly evident in many buildings across the Sunshine Coast.''

The Open House program on Saturday, October 21, will give the chance to tour a remarkable range of 30 buildings including the Caloundra Lighthouses, the heritage-listed Maleny Lodge, Pomona's Majestic Theatre, the Eddie De Vere building in Nambour and the highly sustainable Mike Ahern Centre in First Ave, Maroochydore.

Providing a look at things to come will be Building H2 at the University of the Sunshine Coast, that boasts world-class visualisation theatres for immersive learning, combining visualisation techniques with 3D and virtual-reality technologies.

Then there is the Tent House at Verrierdale, designed by Sparks Architects that has been short-listed for this year's national architecture awards.

Included in Sunshine Coast Open House on October 21 will be heritage walking tours of Caloundra and Nambour.

The Caloundra heritage tour will mark 100 years since the first allotments of land were made available for sale at the Bulcock Estate, and learn about the 1896 lighthouse, the oldest surviving building in Caloundra.

The walking tour of Nambour on the same day will invite participants to step back in time and take in a snapshot of the area's historical landscape.

A panel discussion is planned for Saturday, October 14, looking at Sunshine Coast Architecture - Past, Present and the Future.

Six leading Sunshine Coast architects will discuss how architecture has evolved in the region over the past 50 years and how it could evolve over the next 50 years.

Speakers include John Mainwaring, Lindsay Clare, Ian Dimond, David Teeland, Dan Sparks and John Robertson.

The free panel discussion on is from 3pm at The Majestic Cinema, Nambour C-Square Shopping Centre, Currie St, Nambour.

To book for the panel discussion, go to

For details on Sunshine Coast Open House visit:

Topics:  architecture history sunshine coast council whatson

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