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    Cox Rayner’s Brisbane tower breaks height records and glistens with façade patterns

    Nathan Johnson

    Deeply concaved floor plates, intermittent pockets of sky gardens and patterns of coloured glazing all combine to create a “glistening effect” down what could eventually be the tallest building in Brisbane.

    A development application for a 274-metre emerald-green residential tower footed by a robust stone commercial podium has been lodged for 30 Albert Street, Brisbane and its fate now rests in the hands of the Brisbane City Council.

    The design was chosen by Aspial, who are also developing Australia’s tallest building in Melbourne - Australia 108 by Fender Katsalidis, from a design competition that received six submissions and if approved will surpass Infinity (249m) by DBI Architects as Brisbane’s tallest building.

    EXTERIOR DESIGN

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    From the exterior, 30 Albert’s tower element is defined by both a sculptural and glistening form. The tower’s curves are created in its softly convexed and deeply concaved floorplates while the glistening effect comes from a combination of Cox’s choice of glazing colours and the green reflection from landscape pockets situated within the tower’s recesses.

    LEFT: The tower glazing is proposed to be clean in its detailing, smooth but articulated as the tower grows in height taking inspiration from the adjoining gardens. The glazing pattern changes to glisten towards the top similar to that of tree tops.

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    The building’s seven-storey podium—comparatively low for building of its size—was described by Cox as “eroded” and takes on the form and material palette of the various surrounding environments. The northern and western sides (above) are stone and tile-heavy, geometric in shape and built to the street boundary so as to blend with the adjacent heritage building and the AM60 building across Margaret Street. To the south and the east (below) the podium setbacks change with the heavily articulated form and along with a dramatic voids and planters creates sculptural elements that align with the tower’s curtain wall design.

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    INTERIOR DESIGN

    10.JPGThe 30 Albert tower contains 732 apartments situated in three “vertical villages” that are separated by recreation spaces and plant levels on various floors of the building. The ‘Low Rise Village’ will run from level 8- 38 and will be the only apartments in the building with open balconies. The ‘Mid Rise Village’ will rise to level 65 and be separated from the ‘High-Rise Village’ (level 68-82) by a recreation space with a pool and lounge areas. Occupants of the High-Rise village and the level-91 Penthouse will enter from a separate lobby and lift core.

    LEFT: Plant servicing the development is distributed through the tower to minimise its architectural impact on facades and activation.

    Both the Mid and High Rise villages will receive their fresh air from controlled ventilation awning windows as the site was too windy to allow for balconies above 38-storeys.  The whole building will be air conditioned using cooled reverse cycle variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems that will be connected to central condenser water systems with cooling towers situated throughout the building.

    BELOW: Double-height recreation spaces, called “community hearts” on levels 66 and 83 feature pools, landscaped gardens and cinemas. 3.jpg

    Images: Courtesy of Brisbane City Council

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