A Development Application has recently been lodged for a ground-breaking new office block not far from Fortitude Valley’s train station and the iconic McWhirters building.

Situated on the corner of Warner and Wickham Streets, the proposed new office block was  conceived by Brisbane-based architecture practice bureau^proberts, in collaboration with Cornerstone Properties, Russell James Project Management and Robert Bird & Partners. The design comprises 19 storeys of office space that caters to the future workplace where a balance between endeavour and lifestyle is an imperative.

According to Liam Proberts, bureau^proberts’ managing and creative director, the future workforce expects their place of work to be a “productive environment as well as one that supports physical and mental wellbeing”. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the value and importance of this design approach — one that Proberts’ practice has long championed.

Access to natural light and ventilation, and long views, are embedded in the proposed design. Generous meeting and recreation spaces, a gymnasium with lap pool, sky terraces and balconies to each level support a healthy work/life balance and gives the building a strong sense of community.

“This design brings a new kind of office building to the enclave and contributes to the strong character of the neighbourhood by reinforcing the existing street pattern and acknowledging its prominent location, opposite Fortitude Valley train station,” he says.

There is a clear ambition for the building to fulfil a civic purpose in a way that commercial buildings rarely do. The ground floor of the tower is intended as a semi-public space. It is both welcoming and engaging and brings together components of architecture, landscape design and pubic art, contributing positively to the streetscape and community that it is a part of.

In a move that’s best described as pushing the boundaries of conventional commercial design, the bureau^proberts team is proposing a striking form and strong statement about contemporary workplace design. The architecture has a clear and identifiable expression that enhances the Valley character and is an outcome of its tapered form and steel and concrete exoskeleton.

The foyer design is equally responsive to Brisbane’s climate, with the entire space designed to engage with the streetscape and strike just the right balance between sheltered and open-air spaces that maximise cross-ventilation.