Queensland Ballet Achieves World-First WELL Certification™ for the Thomas Dixon Centre

WORDS: Meryn Cooper PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Queensland Ballet is the first performing arts organisation in the world to become WELL Certified™ at the Platinum level, for its home the Thomas Dixon Centre. 

Ten years in the making, the development involved a complex restoration of the heritage-listed building, adaptive re-use of its spaces, and the addition of contemporary new facilities, including the 351 seat Talbot Theatre, six dance studios, wellness suite, dancer facilities, fully accessible amenities, a rooftop terrace, bar, restaurant and three public artworks. 

The WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based, performance certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with policy and operational strategies. The Thomas Dixon Centre earned the distinction based on ten concepts — Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Movement, Thermal Performance, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. 

Queensland Ballet Executive Director, Dilshani Weerasinghe said it is a tremendous accomplishment for a not-for-profit organisation. 

“The achievement of WELL Certification™ at the Platinum level is a result of relentless dedication of many visionaries and partners, demonstrating our commitment to the wellbeing of all those who interact with the Thomas Dixon Centre – artists, arts workers, arts students, participants in our dance health programs, and our wider community.  

Rare projects such as this one require a rare team, tenacious, bold and generous. I would like to acknowledge Li Cunxin AO, former Artistic Director; Brett Clark AM, Board Chair; the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works; our Visionary Donors and Capital Partners;  xburo engineers, led by Ellis Wilson, Hansen Yuncken, David Gole and Tamarind Taylor from Architectus Conrad Gargett, and QB’s Director of Precincts and Capital Projects, Lucas Gilroy, for sharing our vision and their determination in realising it.” 

Reflecting on their partnership with Queensland Ballet, Lead Architect Tamarind Taylor and Project Director David Gole said that the Thomas Dixon Centre journey was one that Architectus Conrad Gargett (formerly Conrad Gargett) were privileged to have been a part of. 

“Not merely about architecture; it embodied a vision of wellness in the use and life of the building. This commitment embraces the entire Company, the West End community, and the Arts at large.”  

International WELL Building Institute Vice President Asia Pacific, Jack Noonan, applauded the gong.  

“Congratulations to Queensland Ballet for becoming the first performing art organisation in the world to become WELL Certified ™ at the Platinum level for the Thomas Dixon Centre. This is an iconic and unique project internationally. We applaud the leadership in prioritising the wellbeing of performers, students, faculty, and the community it serves,” he said. 

The achievement is a long-term pledge to maintaining the highest standards for the benefit of the community. The Thomas Dixon Centre is a pioneering precinct, highlighting the importance of human-centered design.  

“I hope we inspire developers across rapidly growing Brisbane to pursue Queensland Ballet’s people-first approach, facilitating the creation of healthy spaces to support the best performance and production outcomes, as well as enhancing community engagement.” said Julia Lebiocka, who led the certification process. 
Anyone interested in touring the Thomas Dixon Centre, can book online at or join the Brisbane Open House festivities on the weekend of 13-14 July, where the precinct will host an array of free engagements for the public as one of the official hubs for the Brisbane Open House Festival.