The Project is a City & the City is a Project: A Case Study of 480 Queen Street

Damian Eckersley
Practice Director
BVN Architecture, Brisbane

This presentation discussed a 31-story, 153-meter-tall, 62,000-square-meter commercial tower that includes a highly engaged public realm and a design approach informed by imaginative associations with its context. The podium, imagined as “re-made ground,” comprises a series of public spaces linked by a 24/7 pedestrian lane, culminating in an elevated park that aligns with the ground plane of St John’s Cathedral on an adjacent elevated site. This large scale green space is a memorable addition to the network of outdoor spaces that form part of the sub-tropic city – a verdant landscape that references the original terrain that was the river foreground to the Cathedral. In response to the Cathedral construction and materials, the tower forms utilize the metaphor of stacked stone that has been “cut and polished” to give emphasis to particular elevations and to refine the scale of an otherwise squat building composition.

The presentation concluded that overarching strategies for the interweaving of public and private territory and engagement are applicable to projects of all scales. In this case, the potential for the memorable spaces of the project to become integral with broader citywide networks is potent. The intent of the case study of 480 Queen Street, Brisbane, Australia is to share the evolution of an enabling workplace that also delivers benefits to the broader community, primarily by providing opportunities for the public to engage with the site and its outlooks.

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