Bigger than Sydney’s Barangaroo project and the biggest single urban redevelopment in Queensland history, a once-forgotten part of Brisbane is about to get a major makeover.
Known as the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development (QWBIRD) and destined for completion in 2024, this redevelopment will transform the Queensland capital’s CBD and riverfront.
The scale of the project includes a subtropical design, the reactivation of several heritage and riverside buildings, the construction of four interconnected walkways and a pedestrian bridge to South Bank. Once complete, Queen’s Wharf will connect the city, the Queen Street Mall and the Botanic Gardens with South Bank.
In 2015, the Destination Brisbane Consortium won the right to develop the site. Three separate firms have been announced as the major architects for the project: Cottee Parker (architects for the integrated resort design), ML Design (heritage architects) and Grimshaw (bridge architects).
According to Destination Brisbane, the massive urban renewal project is set across nearly 27 hectares of land in an under-utlilised section of the south-west corner of Brisbane’s CBD. The project will also include approximately one kilometre of Brisbane river frontage and multiple sub-precincts.
The scale of Queen’s Wharf redevelopment is unprecedented in the city, and in the state. Once complete, it will represent the single largest urban redevelopment in Queensland history.
In terms of residents, the QWBIRD will increase the Brisbane CBD population by 35 per cent – from 10,336 persons to almost 14,000.
The actual development combines both vertical and horizontal elements with four vertical levels and a multitude of street and other horizontal components. All of these components will be integrated with inter-connecting precincts to provide access into the main part of Brisbane CBD.
One of the signature features of this development will be the ARC Deck, which will straddle four new buildings. A publicly-accessible area has been designed to provide 360-degree views of Brisbane and beyond.
Five new hotels will be built with capacity to accommodate 2,400 guests. In total, the QWBIRD will add 56,000 additional people to Brisbane CBD. For context, Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 52,500.
Scheduled to open in 2022, Queen's Wharf final design will also include a range of gaming facilities, 1,000 new hotel rooms, 50 new bars and restaurants, retail space, an accessible Skydeck hovering 100 metres above William Street, 2,000 apartments, and a new pedestrian bridge to South Bank.
“Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will transform our city with a diverse mix of new riverfront space," says a Destination Brisbane Consortium spokesperson. "The project will revitalise a tired and underutilised part of the city.
“The $3 billion world-class integrated resort will feature iconic contemporary architecture alongside beautifully restored heritage buildings, and provide locals and tourists with more than 12 football fields of public space to enjoy. It will strengthen our reputation as an international tourism, leisure and entertainment destination.
“The development will also help [to] better connect our city, with a new pedestrian bridge to South Bank and enhanced pedestrian access underneath Elizabeth Street and Queen’s Park."
The integrated resort development phase is expected to be completed by 2022. The rest of the project, including the heritage area transformation, is due for completion in 2024.