One of Brisbane’s most identifiable landmarks, the 88-metre SkyNeedle Tower, will have its base transformed by a “leafy laneway”, to span an entire city block.

The SkyNeedle Walk will connect West End and South Brisbane and contain a number of public amenities, such as an open-air plaza, an “expansive” podium and a planned cafe. After the landscaping and urban planning portion of the project is complete, the heritage tower itself will be refurbished.

“Our vision is to see the SkyNeedle once again become a part of Brisbane life,” says Pradella project director, Brett Lentz.

“The [proposed] cafe will actually sit underneath the copper canopy of the SkyNeedle, so people will be able to wine and dine within metres of this heritage landmark.”

When Pradella Group bought the site in 2015, they expressed the intention to retain the original SkyNeedle tower as part of their redevelopment plan. The plan includes the construction of two new apartment towers adjacent to the landmark, which will be ‘themed’ to the SkyNeedle tower.

“The development takes its design cues from the SkyNeedle, with plenty of circular spaces and hints of copper matching the canopy seen on the façade of the building and throughout the open-air plaza,” says Lentz.

The SkyNeedle tower was originally built as a key feature of Brisbane’s World Expo in 1988. Brisbane hairdresser Stefan Ackerie bought the site in the 1980s, and sold it to Pradella in 2015.

The two new apartment towers will contain a total of 237 apartments. Stage one is anticipated for completion in late 2018, to coincide with the 30-year anniversary of SkyNeedle’s unveiling at Expo ’88.