Brisbane seems to have staked a claim in J.R.R Tolkein’s Middle Earth, with Google Maps showing that Barad-dur, a fictional fortress of the Dark Lord Sauron in The Lord of the Rings, is located on William Street in its CBD.

The Courier Mail reported that some Queenslanders had messed with Google Map Maker, where locals are encouraged to improve the maps of the places they know well.

Barad-dur was marked on 1 William Street, which is currently under development to be a new commercial office tower that will accommodate the Queensland Public Service.

Designed by Woods Bagot, 1 William Street is envisioned to be “emblematic on the Brisbane city skyline”, with a form that angles away from the Brisbane CBD and a splayed roof that creates a striking profile.

“As an organic fluid form, the tower will also be inclusive to the state and will sensitively mediate the rich environmental, architectural and social heritage of the site and the city,” says Mark Damant, Principal of the practice’s Brisbane studio.

The $653 million building is expected to be opened by late 2016, and will house a winding botanical walk on the ground floor, a 12-metre high entrance foyer, and a media centre for journalists.

At ground level, the building is lifted so it appears to float over a dynamic network of pedestrian and view corridors that connect the site to its surroundings. Images: Woods Bagot

Not quite the same vision Sauron had for Barad-dur.

Images: The Courier Mail


Alas, good things never last. It appears Sauron’s riverfront property has moved away, leaving '1 William Street’ available for the Queensland Public Service. This could be a move by Google, who responded to The Courier Mail's report in Elvish:

“We encourage users to contribute their local knowledge and updates using Google Map Maker, even the whims of Sauron will not compromise our quest to provide useful and accurate maps.