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    Collection of “breathable” towers by COX Architecture proposed for Brisbane

    Nicholas Rider

    Australian property developer Walker Corporation has proposed a new commercial tower for Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. The development is being conveyed as a ‘building that breathes’, and one that achieves high levels of sustainability.

    Designed by COX Architecture, the 46,659-square-metre, 22-storey building addresses orientation, outdoor spaces, daylight, natural ventilation, greenery and waste. A three-storey podium will be incorporated into the tower design, and 386 square metres of the ground level will be designated retail space.

    Located at 801 Ann Street, the building is being approached as a “collection of towers”, due to the design being broken into four primary forms. The orientation of the building will allow for views and solar access, while heat gain from the west will be managed through vertical shading. 

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    A large covered forecourt will protrude from the towers’ Ann Street frontage, while a cross-block link will form part of the lobby. A series of “winter rooms” will bring open space to the upper levels, providing semi-outdoor, sub-topical spaces that are elevated above street level (the “winter rooms” will be located on levels nine and 25). Four elevated outdoor terraces and outdoor balconies will also form part of the floorplan on levels 11 and 19.

    In terms of daylight, the development proposes appropriate setbacks to the boundaries and separation to adjacent buildings that will ensure that both internal and external spaces within the building have access to direct sunlight and natural light. Full-height glazing will also maximise natural light, while a curtain wall façade system will provide an efficient response to solar heat gain and reflectivity.

    Natural ventilation for the building will be achieved with an operable façade, including operable windows located on the winter rooms and terraces. Additionally, the winter rooms will have an outer operable façade and an internal weather tight façade.

    Similar to other Fortitude Valley projects – including BVN’s 25-storey commercial tower at 301 Wickham Street and Rothelowman’s two-tower multi-residential development at 44-100 Barry Parade – COX’s design incorporates living greenery. Elevated gardens will find homes on the edge of level three plant room, the balconies on levels 11 and 19, and the rooftop. Trees and vegetation will also appear at street level.

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    The building has been designed to achieve a minimum 5 Star Green star design and a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating. Materials including stone paving, travertine wall cladding and glass curtain walls have been selected for their durability.  A waste management plan has been provided as part of the development application, and rainwater will be harvested to provide water for irrigation and cooling towers.

    The development application for 801 Ann Street was submitted earlier this month. The plan is currently awaiting approval. 

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