Students from the Griffith School of Engineering and Built Environment were set a 12-week design challenge to reimagine the upcoming Kangaroo Point Green Bridge project in Brisbane.

Brisbane City Council is currently building new green bridges across Brisbane to make it easier for people to get around the city. The Kangaroo Point Green Bridge will link Kangaroo Point to the Brisbane CBD.

Griffith lecturers challenged the Bachelor of Architectural Design students to design the bridge with a subtropical landscape as well as include an amphitheatre, public lookout points and space for commercial tenancies in their design proposal.

Over 70 students presented their vision to guest judges from Archipelago Architects, KIRK, COX Architects, who worked on the actual project, and Brisbane City Council.

Architecture design student Janavi Munci, who wants to design tiny houses in the future, visited the site and thought hard about how to fit her design within the existing landscape and integrate each landing point as well.

“I was inspired by the macro view of Brisbane, where the river weaves in and out to connect green and urban spaces.”

Alix Potter, another student, said designing to a real project brief pushed her design skills.

“Having to design something that’s grounded in reality, while also having no budgetary limits on your creativity is liberating. Getting to work on this scale, which is bigger than any of our past projects, you have to think, will this stand up and not fall into the river,” she said.

Fellow student Jack Post said the design challenge helped deepen his knowledge of public infrastructure and the needs of the people who use public spaces.

“We had a lecture where we went through the actual proposal and it opened my eyes to landings and how people actually get on to the bridge. You gain so much knowledge from working on this massive project over a trimester,” he said.

“I think this is what Griffith University offers students, everyone here encourages you to improve every day and to refine your ideas from the creative and structural side in realistic settings. While connecting you to working architects to give you insights and feedback into your work,” he added.

Guest judge Dominic Powell from Archipelago Architects, who was involved in the Home of the Arts Green Bridge across the Nerang River, says he was impressed with the quality of work presented by the students.

“Everyone had really strong ideas across the board and different ways of expressing it. They had a strong story to tell about their proposals and an underpinning idea of how their urban connector could be a real legacy for Brisbane.”

Image: Alix Potter with her design (Griffith University)