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Brisbane’s golden triangle is about to get a new centrepiece development, with Dexus lodging a development application for Waterfront Brisbane, a complete redevelopment of the existing Eagle Street Pier site in Brisbane’s CBD.
Designed by Fjmt and Arkhefield, the proposed Waterfront Brisbane precinct involves the development of two commercial towers, 43 & 49 storeys high and a combined mixed-use podium set above the ground plane and riverwalk levels.
The proposed development weaves together the city grid and the river’s edge to create a new intersection at the convergence of Creek and Mary Streets.
According to the architects, the vision for Waterfront Brisbane is to transform and revitalise the existing site into a “premier mixed-use precinct that capitalises on Brisbane’s subtropical lifestyle and leading business destination.”
Developer Dexus hopes that Waterfront Brisbane will offer a riverside experience that will re-invigorate currently underutilized City and Rivers edge spaces for a broader community and economic benefit, with a total project value of $2.1 billion.
- Over 9,000sqm of public realm areas through varying levels over the site which is said to enhance accessibility and connectivity between Riverwalk and City streets;
- Landscaped open space at ground and podium levels contributing to the amenity and comfort of public realm spaces;
- Over 20% of the City Reach Riverwalk corridor, being approximately 280m of integrated and activated Riverwalk with an average width of 10m;
- A total area of 2,641sqm of Riverwalk which includes 1,597sqm of unobstructed Riverwalk pedestrian and movement corridor path and 1,044sqm of activated, embellished and integrated low-scale active uses Riverwalk level;
- Improved equitable and cyclist access points to the northern and southern reaches of the site providing increased linkages, arcades, widened footpaths and connections through the site from all adjacent City streets;
- Enhanced views and vantage points from public realm areas to important heritage buildings, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and Story Bridge;
- Premium grade commercial office towers increasing the City’s office supply with a range of retail, dining, entertainment, lifestyle and recreational opportunities.
- Uses: Bar, Centre activities (Food and drink outlet, Function facility, Indoor sport and recreation, Office and Shop), Hotel
- North Tower GFA (stage 1): 75,331sqm
- South Tower GFA (stage 2): 59,999sqm
- Podium GFA: 9,860sqm
- Total GFA: 145,190sqm
- Hours of operation: Unlimited hours of operation
- North Tower building height (stage 1): RL 238m and 49 storeys
- South Tower building height (stage 2): RL 212m and 43 storeys
- Podium building height: RL 26.45m and 4 storeys setback 3m from front boundary
- Site cover: 9,919sqm or 44.5%
- Tower site cover: 6,300sqm or 28.2%
- Setback to river boundary: 10.5m to building line – low scale tenanted spaces 14.5m – podium 34m – tower
- Setback to Riverwalk: 0m to OMP – low scale tenanted spaces 13m to building line and OMP – tower
- Riverwalk width: 6m– 18m, with an average of 10m
- Eagle Street setback: 3.15m to building wall and OMP
- Landscaped outdoor space: 12,608sqm or 56.5%
- Car parking and visitor, motorcycle and bicycle: 454 total vehicle spaces, 12 motorcycle spaces, 934 bicycle spaces
A series of new public spaces
The Riverwalk is a north-south spine of the proposal and broader City Reach Masterplan that involves the delivery of a new Riverwalk, averaging 10m in width, with a 6m wide unobstructed thoroughfare, 274m long and more than 2,640sqm in the area at river level, excluding retail and river activation.
The proposed Riverwalk represents 20% of the City Reach Waterfront area, which is undergoing a new master plan by the Brisbane City Council.
At the river level, food and drink outlets, as well as kiosk shops, are proposed along the edge of the Riverwalk to promote pedestrian activation. The kiosks are intended to be utilised for ticketing and sales associated with the future CityCat terminal and planned pontoons.
A boutique shop (supermarket) is proposed within the ground floor level recessed behind a food and drink outlet to ensure an active interface with the Riverwalk is maintained. The supermarket will be accessed via a lobby from the Riverwalk and via public lifts from the ground floor plaza level.
According to the architects, the Waterfront Terraces respond to the overarching conceptual strategy of having significant greening toward the southern end of the site. “As one moves toward the Botanic Gardens, the Riverwalk gradually becomes less urban in character.”
The Waterfront Terraces aim to create a soft, green transition between the new retail buildings to the base of Waterfront Place and the Riverwalk. The terraces blend with the adjacent Market Steps creating a series of shaded, outdoor meeting spaces for both the public and office workers to occupy.
The linear expression of the terraces is extended into the architecture of the new retail buildings on the upper level, which themselves are heavily landscaped.
Carefully integrated food and beverage offerings are proposed at Riverwalk level further activate this section.
Mary Street Plaza
The primary public space, Mary Street Plaza is the largest new space within the public realm of Waterfront Brisbane measuring approximately 2,000sqm extending between heritage-listed Naldham House and the Brisbane River.
As an extension of the Mary Street axis, the plan is to connect the city and water both visually and physically via the Market Steps.
According to the development application, the Mary Street
Plaza is highly activated and well located along major pedestrian routes. It is envisioned that it will play host to public events such as markets. Public art and subtropical landscaping will also complement a range of retail offerings at the perimeter.
Creek Street Plaza
Creek Street Plaza provides the same diagonal cut through from street to water at the northern end of the site, and a direct east/west connection to the riverwalk.
While tighter and more laneway width, the height of the lifted tower over means it allows for a large air void and public space that leads pedestrians towards the water and City Verandah precinct.
Retail activation is provided via the new pavilion building. External seating is provided to serve both the restaurant and for general public use.
Subtropical landscaping spill over the lower roof of the retail pavilion. The upper-level roof of this building connects to the elevated River Lobby via a bridge which spans the laneway. This occupied roof functions as a City Verandah.
The idea of the city verandah is to activate the roofs of the podium structures.
This ‘City Verandah’ is activated with a shaded rooftop cafe/function space. It offers a unique public viewing space. The western edge is heavily landscaped.
A continuous glazing facade wraps around both buildings while both cores of the north and south towers are located on the western facing side of the site to give the towers added sun protection.
A typical mid-rise floor plate being approximately 1600sqm (north tower), and 1,500sqm (south tower).
A flexible event/meeting space is located at the top of each tower with external terraces which boast views towards the Story Bridge. Level 17 acts as the transfer floor between the low rise and mid-rise with a further opportunity for external breakout terraces.
Well-being: Sustainability & Microclimate
A series of green spaces are proposed to occupy the roofs of the built form pulling the landscape from the ground plane skywards to the top of the towers.
The roof of the podium is a major elevated green space, a highly landscaped breakout terrace connected to the towers wellness and end of trip facilities.
In close collaboration with PLACE Design Group, FJMT and Arkhefield Architects, Dexus has appointed Brisbane-based UAP, a company that is internationally known for specialising in collaborative place-making and the management of integrated art and design solutions for the public realm.
UAP aims to create ‘destination making’ and future-focused artwork for Waterfront Brisbane that is respectful and celebratory of the site’s rich history.
The Brisbane-based urban design and landscape architecture firm, Place Design Group has been tasked with connecting the precinct’s many urban realm areas into one landscaping masterplan.
Brisbane’s Global Precincts
There was a time when Brisbanites only had South Bank as the go-to night-time riverside destination. Now, however, all sides of the CBD will soon accommodate 24-hour dining and entertainment with Queen’s Wharf, Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane Live Precinct, South Bank and Waterfront Brisbane competing for the city’s attention.
The new riverwalk is planned to connect directly with Brisbane City Council’s new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking to Kangaroo Point which will be fast-tracked with completion expected by 2023.