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    Zaha Hadid’s Brisbane towers continue to raise eyebrows

    Nathan Johnson

    The public debate surrounding Zaha Hadid’s proposal for three new residential towers at Toowong Brisbane is still thriving, with council representatives and various media personalities weighing in on the discussion.

    The public were quick to express their opinions regarding the planned ‘Grace on Coronation’ development when they were released earlier this month. Some locals have reportedly described the towers as “ugly as sin” and out of keeping with the sub-tropical city’s history.

    Architecture & Design readers were also vocal about the development, some called it “interesting” and “a welcome change”, others thought it was “ridiculous” and noted the ‘Grace of Coronation’ was not an appropriate title.  

    Channel Nine’s Shane Doherty also reported that Premier Cambell Newman would prefer that the site should have been made a public park. Image: twitter.

    Render provided by Zaha Hadid Architects. Source: QLD Gov.  

    Queensland chapter president of the Institute of Architects Richard Kirk has since encouraged locals to discuss the plans and was more concerned with the fact that Hadid was the “first significant international architect to win a commission in Brisbane”.

    “I think that is the interesting thing, that there is a level of interest from the international design community in doing work here in Brisbane,” he told the Brisbane Times (BT).

    “Obviously [developer] Sunland see that as a key aspect of their development and I think that is the more interesting story.

    “Anything that creates discourse about what the city wants to look like is always positive.”

    A comment from Brisbane City planning chairman, Amanda Cooper, is also of interest considering she explained that the designs actually eclipsed the 15-store height limit slated for the site.

    “It's a significant site and because of the significance of the site, 15 storeys is the acceptable solution,” she told Domain

    "We assess every single application on its merits, if they want to go for more (height), they are entitled to," Cr Cooper said. 

    "If we think we can do something different, as to why it should be a good outcome, it becomes impact assessable." 

    The submitted proposal for ‘Grace on Coronation’ shows three multi-layer facetted buildings, ranging from 22 to 25 storeys that will house some 495 units and 566 resident car parks and 69 visitor and temporary car parks.  

    The number of car parks and the amount of traffic it will bring to the area has also raised concerns due to the development’s close proximity with the University of Queensland.

    It is estimated that 55,000 vehicles will pass the towers on Benson Street, near Toowong Village each day. Currently the plans show a new 30m slip lane along Coronation Drive to help merging traffic but one issue that has been raised is that the traffic leaving the towers from Archer Street is currently permitted to only turn left on to Benson Road.

    The developers have lodged to have this changed and says they will work with council to come to the best solution.

    What do you think of the design? Do you think it’s appropriate for Brisbane?

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