Design/Completion 1983-1986

Brisbane, Queensland

Lend Lease Corporation

50,000 m 2 nett office space, 1,500 m 2 per floor

Concrete structure, granite facing

  • RAIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award, 1987
  • First Prize, Marble Architectural Awards (Carrara, Italy), 1989
  • RAIA Robin Dods Triennial Medal, 1989
  • AIA (Qld) Enduring State Architecture Award, 2011

Previously blocked off by a continuous wall of low buildings and wooden wharves, the waterfront location offered the opportunity for development to open up the river’s edge and make it accessible to the city. Ferry wharves and a marina for private yachts had to be planned, as well as restaurants, banks, shops and an underground carpark for 500 cars.

Planning had to allow for a second stage originally to be a hotel but later changed to offices.

The site offers fine views up and down the river. This asset was maximised in the design of the 40 storey office tower by means of a triangular plan which faces more than two thirds of offices to the water.

On the waterfront a large public space is defined by lower buildings which surround the tower. A wide opening toward the river front is left framed by a huge curved connecting beam defining the open plaza. Steps lead down to the water under this opening, traversed by a series of ramps (“stramps”) which provide the required handicapped people’s access to the public ferry wharves.

The open space contains fountains, trees, seating, outdoor restaurants, shops and a tavern. Aluminium shades varyingly inclined protect the full height glass walls of the two sunny sides of the tower. Recessed “facade gardens” are interspersed over the elevations facing up and down the river.

A 15 m high lobby is planned across the street frontage. The surrounding floors become mezzanines overlooking this space which has a large centrally placed sculpture by Carlberg and tapestries by Calder. A continuous cantilevered glass canopy gives tropical rain protection to the entrances.