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    Green super-tower proposed for Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall

    Kirsty Sier

    A submission has been lodged for an 81-storey super-tower to be built above Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. If it goes ahead, No.1 Brisbane will be the first residential tower in Australia to sit directly above a CBD shopping strip. First, however, the tower will have to successfully navigate its way through the approval process – a task which might be made more difficult considering it scrapes Brisbane’s artificial maximum height limit of 274.3 metres (AHD).

    Designs for the tower have already been revealed by Blight Rayner Architecture. The firm is pitching the tower as a “breathable” green building that will represent a “vertical city” within the existing city, and comprise a series of self-contained communities.

    Draft renders for No.1 Brisbane reveal a soaring glass and metal structure that is cut-through with a series of green podium levels that diverge from an otherwise uniformly vertical design. Flush with greenery, these podium levels are, from street level, reminiscent of a series of pot plants hanging out over the edge of the building’s façades. From the inside, these podium levels work towards injecting light, air and views into the hybrid residential-and-retail building.

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    In total, the proposed design for No.1 Brisbane comprises 534 apartments in configurations ranging from one to four bedrooms, as well as two penthouses. The quality and scope of outdoor spaces within the building are the true differentiating factors for the super-tower. The extensive inclusion of these breathable spaces is facilitated by a façade system that allows a blurring of indoor and outdoor.

    Each of the tower’s podium levels will entail a combination of retail, food and beverage spaces. As well as acting as an extension of the activated Queen Street Mall at ground level, these podiums have the additional function of increasing the amenability and outdoor space available to residents.

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    Chief among the podium spaces is what Blight Rayner Architecture has dubbed ‘The Great Verandah’. This exaggerated podium is particularly prominent even amongst a number of prominent green spaces. The protruding, landscaped, light-filled Great Verandah is intended to provide a visual connection to the public realm that surrounds No.1 Brisbane, including Reddacliff Place and South Bank in addition to the obvious Queen Street Mall.

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    Recreational spaces will incorporate communal amenities for residents, such as BBQ areas, function and media rooms, and gym and pool facilities. The overall floor area of the ‘vertical city’ is proposed at 4,470 square metres.

    The application to approve No.1 Brisbane was submitted by 151 Property Core Plus Management on behalf of The Trust Company. The company’s current holdings include the two commercial buildings that currently sit on the site: 231 George Street and 52 Queen Street.

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    It is now up to Brisbane council to decide whether the 81-storey vertical city will violate current height restrictions, which have been determined specifically due to a Brisbane airport radar location issue.

    Application details for No.1 Brisbane can be viewed on the Brisbane City Council website.

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