A nine-storey commercial tower designed by Fender Katsalidis and located in Fortitude Valley has received development approval, with the tower built around the wellbeing of its occupants.

Located at 95 Robertson Street, the tower, dubbed Bureau, is defined by its concrete facade which varies in lightness of form as it transitions between podium and tower, creating contrasting elements of solid and void. 

Budgeted at $20 million by Empirica Developments, the project includes a ground floor retail and wellness space, six levels of commercial office with 595 square metre floorplates, a podium-level childcare centre and three levels of basement car parking. The new tower will transform the site, currently occupied by a two-storey commercial building, and supersedes previously approved plans for a residential development.

Fender Katsalidis Director, Nicky Drobis, says designing considered workplace buildings is imperative for the growth of Brisbane, including it’s fringes.

“The building aims to enhance the diversity of Robertson Street, through its uses and design outcomes, while remaining appropriate for the site. In this instance, the relatively small block will have a generous green edge setback, activated ground floor and elegant presence in the skyline,” she says.

“We designed the mixed mode and open-air terraces to promote physical and mental wellbeing, ease of connection to the outdoors and to take advantage of the sweeping city views.

“People now expect more from their office building. They want to feel comfortable, relaxed and inspired to work productively and so commercial building design today needs to have wellness and amenity elements.”

Bureau is located in close proximity to the James Street precinct and Howard Smith Wharves, with views of the Brisbane CBD and unobstructed views of Teneriffe Hill and New Farm.

bureau fender katsalidis

The entrance is identified by its curved form and integrated dining courtyard while the tower proper provides outdoor mixed mode areas on each floor and an open rooftop terrace. Additional features include an internal landscaped courtyard and wellness centre. The intentionally separated fa├žade forms allow for habitable green edges to reflect the tropical climate and meet the Brisbane City Council’s New World Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe.

“Brisbane’s tropical climate can be challenging for our community, hence our vision to create a building that captures both the city’s beauty and climatic uniqueness while withstanding some of its harsher conditions,” says Megan Rodgers, Principal at Fender Katsalidis.

“We have created a timeless design that focuses on providing workplace flexibility for the building occupants while establishing the framework for a vertically integrated community. 

“We have been fortunate to work with such a forward-thinking client in Empirica, whose vision for the development focuses on the wellbeing of the building’s occupants through the integration of wellness, food and beverage, childcare and workplace. This has allowed us to design a building that fills a gap in the current market.”

Chris Volk, Director at Empirica Developments, says the building thoughtfully integrates shared spaces and greenery, as well as views of the river city, to enhance the wellbeing of those that will utilise the building on a daily basis.

“The approved design leverages off the site’s mixed-use planning intent and combines several uses in a complimentary manner. The tower predominantly comprises boutique office accommodation, with indoor and outdoor communal areas that provide a pleasant and interesting environment for occupiers and visitors.”

Bureau is expected to commence construction in the third quarter of this year, with completion slated for early 2023.

Images: Supplied