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    Business as usual for Cox in Brisbane with sparkling new skyscraper design

    Nathan Johnson

    Upon his sudden resignation in early August, Cox Rayner founding director Michael Rayner said that he was leaving the firm in good financial stead and with a healthy number of projects in the pipeline.

    One of those projects has just resurfaced in the Brisbane City DA portal and by the measures of height and scale alone, is certainly healthy.

    Almost exactly one year ago, Architecture & Design reported that Cox Rayner submitted a DA for a 274-metre emerald-green residential tower to be located at 30 Albert Street, Brisbane. Now, Cox Architecture, renamed upon Rayner’s exodus, has submitted a brand new, updated design for 30 Albert and what could eventually be the tallest building in Brisbane.

    The tower is still 274-metres high and has kept its deeply concaved floor plates and intermittent pockets of sky gardens, but it has undergone significant changes, most obviously to its façade materiality.

    Untitled-1.jpg

    1-1.jpgNow and then: Cox has kept the towers concaved floorplates but replaced the emerald green glazing with blue and copper-coloured versions.
    Right: 30 Albert will articulate from Wood Marsh’s Abian tower (front left)

    The original monolithic emerald green glazing is out and has been replaced by a blue and copper-colour combination, and the building’s podium has also undergone significant changes. The new design, including its shape and orientation, also appears to be more influenced by the neighbouring 40-storey Abian Tower than the last version,  which was designed by Wood Marsh and is currently under construction.

    30 Albert Street is one of two Cox Architecture skyscrapers that will break height records in the Brisbane CBD, the other is another 274 metre tower at 240 Margaret Street.

    A CITY OF VERTICAL NEIGHBOURHOODS

    30 Albert will continue an ongoing design trend in the Brisbane CBD towards high-rise residential towers that incorporate vertical neighbourhoods.  The apartment spread for both 30 Albert and 240 Margaret are dispersed into three “vertical villages” that are separated by recreation spaces and plant levels on various floors of the building.

    Similarly, the Noel Robinson Architects-designed Skytower at nearby 222 Margaret Street has been divided into what he calls “vertical towns”, created by four different residential sections accessible from separate lobbies situated on the ground level.

    GOOD TIMES FOR BRISBANE

    Michael Rayner is leaving Cox to form a mid-tier firm to be called Blight Rayner Architecture and Design, and plans to capitalise on the buoyant Brisbane market which is still recovering from a dip in the construction and resources market.

    One indicator evidencing this buoyancy is the number of skyscraper developments currently in progress in the city. Cox has at least two of the projects planned for a new residential precinct going up near Brisbane’s Botanical Gardens but there is a wealth of other large scale developments from other firms going up in and around the Brisbane River.  

    Probably the most talked about are the new Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino project designed by Cottee Parker Architects and the Zaha Hadid-designed residential tower at Toowong Brisbane. 

    Images: Cox Architecture

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