The world’s first flood resilient ferry terminal has officially opened in Brisbane, marking the city’s newest permanent terminal to be introduced since the devastating 2011 floods. 

Designed by Aurecon and Cox Rayner Architects, the Milton Ferry Terminal is shaped like a boat and will provide new generation transport options for local commuters, with tactile ground surface indicators, journey maps with braille, and designated seating for people with mobility impairments.

The terminal’s practical design extends to the incorporation of new technology that will safeguard it from floods and natural disasters, and cope with the Brisbane River’s tidal range, which can exceed two metres.

While a single, robust, 11 metre pier allows for largely unobstructed views of the Brisbane River and removes the need for a forest of piles, the terminal’s hull shaped base allows flood matter to flow unhindered. This protects the pontoon, which is large enough for two CityCats to berth at the same time.

A state-of-the-art detachable gangway – a world first for a ferry network – also works to reduce the pressure of flood waters and ensure the structure remains intact. Incorporating a uniquely designed floor which maintains level intermediate landings whatever the tide, this gangway will detach at the shore end during a flood, enabling it to rise with flood waters, swing behind the pontoon, and avoid being struck by debris.

According to Cox Rayner director, Brendan Gaffney, the project required significant collaboration with the engineers Aurecon, with the team solving not just the technical aspects of the Brisbane City Council’s brief, but pushing the limits of the possibilities across every single component.

“The terminal is an impressive marriage of form and function,” adds Aurecon Project Director, Arne Nilsen.

“It showcases cutting-edge design which integrates technical innovation and elegant form to deliver an iconic feature in the river city, and it’s been designed to achieve flood resilience and to last for 50 years.”

The Milton Ferry Terminal is the first of many to be rolled out across Brisbane over the coming year.