The new headquarters on Adelaide Street will house 100 employees. Image – Canva
  • Brisbane HQ is one of only three for the global design firm
  • Brisbane is preferred bidder for 2032 Olympics
  • The firm's Asia Pacific employee count has doubled since 2019

Populous, a multinational American architectural and design practice, has opened its new Asia Pacific Headquarters in Brisbane along Adelaide Street.

The firm, which specialises in designing sports facilities, arenas and convention centres, only has two other global headquarters in London and Kansas City with several offices spread globally, including Sydney.

The opening of the new headquarters comes a week after Brisbane was announced as the preferred host for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.

If won, the event will mark only the fourth time the Olympics has been held in the Southern Hemisphere with Melbourne hosting in 1956, Sydney in 2000 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Along with designing Olympic venues such as the London Olympic Stadium, Populous has been working on the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committees.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, due to be held this year, are the only Olympics that have ever been postponed – the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled due to the Second World War; since then all Summer Olympics have been held.

Populous’ experience both locally and internationally will put Brisbane in good stead if Queensland is officially crowned as the host city for the 2032 Games.

The design practice has been responsible for much work in Queensland, having been the designers of Suncorp Stadium, Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast and the Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson.

Globally, alongside Olympic assignments, projects done under Populous’s belt include a 50,000-seat Manila indoor arena, a National Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Beijing and the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

“This internationally renowned architectural firm which has designed Olympic and other outstanding facilities around the world, as well as some of our favourite local venues, makes Brisbane their main office in the Asia Pacific,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who attended the opening ceremony for the new offices.

“So today is a proud and timely moment for the owners and staff, working on the very best of Olympic and other worldwide projects from new premises right here in Brisbane.”

The headcount for the Asia Pacific division of Populous has expanded to over 200; as recently as 18 months ago there were approximately 100 staff members.

100 staff intend to work from the purpose-built office space in Brisbane with the rest working remotely or at other offices in the region including Sydney, Singapore, Beijing and New Delhi.

“We have been growing our business from Brisbane for 20 years and we are very proud to take this step to recommit our Asian headquarters to Queensland,” said Populous Managing Director Paul Henry.

“This is an exciting day for our staff and clients, and we are very much looking forward to continuing to collaborate across the globe as we have done well before COVID-19 on exciting projects that bring people together in moments of celebration.

“Everyone that has played a part in our success should be very proud as it is a story of hard work, vision and collaboration from people that love what they do and do it exceptionally well every day.”

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