Phoenix Central Park developed from a big idea.
Judith Neilson envisioned a space in which architecture and interior design as well as the visual and performing arts would each enhance and embrace the other for an immersive total experience – a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, or ‘total work of art’. Performances at Phoenix Central Park will be diverse and eclectic: audiences can expect anything from the classics to new experimental music – from solo piano recitals to opera, from contemporary dance to poetry reading, and from chamber music to edgy performance art. The building, by Durbach Block Jaggers and John Wardle Architects, includes a gallery, a central garden, and an intimate performance space. Why is it named ‘Phoenix’? The building occupies the site of a warehouse that was fire-damaged and vacant – but the name also symbolises the renaissance of a previously gritty, semi-industrial inner-city suburb to become a cultural hub. Phoenix Central Park rises from the ashes like the legendary bird.