Brisbane-based practice KO&Co Architecture has completed work on a 32-unit housing block in Woolloongabba, in the heart of the river city.

The nine-storey building was is the first project from the Partnering for Growth initiative, culminated from a collaborative effort between Brisbane Housing Company (BHC) and the Queensland Government, providing affordable rental accommodation for youth and key workers.

cornwall street aerial ko&co

The building contains a range of studio and one-bedroom units, with large communal leisure spaces located on every floor.

KO&Co Architect Karen Ognibene says a key priority of the site was working with the topography and location of the site to ensure the needs of the residents were met.

“For this project our focus was on dealing with the constraints of the noisy location and the orientation of the site and providing excellent cross ventilation in each unit all while taking advantage of the city’s subtropical environment,” she says.

“We were also aware of the targeted demographic and BHC’s partnership with Brisbane Youth Service from the start of the project, which allowed us to design a building that not only addressed the needs of our client, but also the needs of the building’s residents.

“Common spaces, extensive greenery and fun, contemporary interiors became a fundamental part of the project.”

cornwall street apartment kitchen

Located on Cornwall Street, the building has been re-oriented away from the nearby Pacific Motorway to minimise noise from the busy road. Each level and roof top communal terrace contains extensive planting, providing residents with important green space, with cross ventilation a feature amongst all units.

Masonry has been utilised to provide natural heating and cooling, with deep balconies, appropriately sized awnings on windows and slab extensions to provide appropriate shading to walls and windows in summer, whilst allowing winter sun to penetrate into the floor plan.

The corridors on all levels are external spaces with natural ventilation and daylight. Solar panels are located on the roof and solar power is also used for the services in all corridors and common spaces.

Water tanks supply the irrigation for the extensive landscaping on the ground level and podium level, as well as the numerous planters to the corridors and common spaces on the upper levels.

Photography by Kate Mathieson.

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