* This project was under the design direction of Stephen Cameron while previously working at Hassell.
Client: Nielson Properties
With this design proposal, we were interested in the blurring of boundaries between inside and outside, new and old, natural and constructed, rough and refined.
As a building type, it is common for towers to have very distinct edges. In physical, cultural and economic terms, the boundaries between what the tower is and what it is not are usually very precisely delineated. However, the history of buildings in our region is a history of indistinct edges and broad transitions. The point at which a building ends and the landscape starts has traditionally been uncertain, and it is this undefined space that people have instinctively sought to occupy.
We sought to create a tower that could merge with the sky through translucency and ephemerality, and dissolve into the urban landscape by overlaying spaces that are public and private, cultural and commercial.
The proposal was for an office tower that, when viewed from afar, is intended to appear as a fine-skinned lantern, using treated glass to windows and external sunshades to give a consistent materiality, and generate depth and interest in the transmission of light and shade. We were preoccupied with the desire to create a tower that is elegant and restrained, with design effort to be invested in the subtleties of materiality and detailing.
The building is capped by a screen wall of translucent glass extrusions to create a memorable, ephemeral skyline silhouette, glowing from within with refracted sunlight by day and with LED lighting by night.
At street level, the same translucent glass extrusions trigger memories of the tower as first experienced from afar and offer a finely articulated streetfront screen to the podium levels. Lush planting is incorporated into these screens, giving a sense of verdant shade and coolness whilst also reinforcing the sustainability credentials of the 6-Star GBC building.
The podium strategy envisaged a generous, triple-height space to the ground floor foyer. This foyer is enlivened by a cafe that also fronts onto Herschel Street and the cross-block laneway, as well as the art installation, display and production spaces that occupy the upper balcony spaces overlooking the foyer. A grand public stair rises from the Herschel Street footpath toward a great public room incorporating bar and restaurant on the corner of North Quay, with superb views across and down the two reaches of the Brisbane River.
Above all else, this tower proposition offers large, ideally
proportioned floorplates that are focussed around access to
sweeping views across the river and hinterland. Access to
natural daylight and planning flexibility are also key
considerations, and a range of test-fit designs were developed that demonstrate the suitability of the base building design to a range of likely tenant uses.