Inspired by iconic buildings from around the globe, a new Woods Bagot-designed mixed use building in Brisbane will bring a fresh new look and activated ground plane to 111 Mary Street.
Situated on a site bordered by Margaret and Mary street, ‘Mary 111’ is the smaller of two towers approved for development on the site, the other is called ‘Skytower’ and will be Brisbane’s tallest residential tower by 2019.
Mary 111 will rise to 135 metres (compared to Skytower’s 274 metres) and be home to a new 33-storey hotel and apartment tower facility, footed by a four-storey commercial and retail podium.
As per the original design for the site lodged by Noel Robinson Architects, Mary 111 will be linked to Skytower and Margaret Street via a covered pedestrian thoroughfare, but Woods Bagot have redesigned the link and is now called the ‘Arcade’. The Arcade and the podium of Mary 111 will provide an activated retail offering onto Mary Street as well a proper cross block link through to Margaret Street.
The podium is divided into three major sections; an Arcade section (left) devoted to retail and spa facilities, a three-storey ‘Timber Services Pod’ (centre) with a bar and rooftop pool; and a ‘Glass Circulation Pod’ (right) which provides staircase access to various levels.
A glass and steel-structured awning wraps the front of the podium and flows into arcade to form a canopy over the walkway. It will be fit with architectural lighting to direct pedestrians from the footpath down through the arcade. Large V-shaped columns covered in ceramic tiles puncture through the podium and form a support for the tower element.
While unique in its own right, the podium and arcade do draw inspiration from distinctive buildings around the world. For example, in their DA, Woods Bagot compared the fluid and vegetated-edges of their podium with those at WOHA Architect’s 'Park Royal' in Singapore. The glass canopy arcade also drew self-comparison with Grupo Arquitech’s 'Mexican Shopping Centre' project.
Inspiration: The glass canopy arcade at Grupo Arquitech’s Mexican Shopping Centre project (left) and the fluid and vegetated slab edges of WOHA Architect’s Park Royal in Singapore (right). Images: E-Architect and Tierra Design.
Comparisons and inspirations continued up tower, this time to Foster + Partners’ ‘The Troika’ in Kuala Lumpur and Woods Bagot’s own Hilton Hotel in Melbourne. The tower is uniquely sculptural and appears to fold in on itself as setbacks increase moving from the outside into the centre of the building.
The tower’s facade features a similar black cladding and black glass mullions material set up to The Troika and Hilton projects and, like those projects and the podium below, has expressed slabs to give the façade its horizontal expression.
Inspiration: The varied orientations of The Troika facade by Foster + Partners and the glass, mullion and expressed slab setup of The Hilton in Melbourne by Woods Bagot. Images: E-Architect and Trevor Mein.
Woods Bagot notes that the shape of the tower and the orientation of its grids of glazing provides privacy to residents and hotel guests and also provides views and access to natural lighting.
The building also has a subterranean Porte Cochere, which promises to removes the bulk of taxi and private traffic off Mary Street and to enable the engagement of the ground floor hotel and retail experience with the city.
Woods Bagot recently resubmitted the DA for the project and are seeking approval for minor alterations to the apartment mix and floor layouts.
Images: All from Woods Bagot unless explicitly stated.