A significant addition to the Brisbane skyline, the 126,800sqm 1 William Street provides a new integrated workplace for the Queensland public service.

Positioned at the fringe of the Brisbane CBD, 1 William Street is the tallest commercial building in Brisbane, setting the benchmark for other government accommodation across Australia. The project offered the opportunity to develop a landmark commercial office tower and reintegrate an undervalued section of the foreshore back into the physical and social fabric of Brisbane city.

A riparian design

A key design feature is the acknowledgement of the building’s location on the Brisbane River. The tower’s design abstracts the sinuous line of the river up the façade, around the crown and down to the ground.

The building is rotated off the CBD’s street grid pattern, with the north-orientated tower designed to look outwards toward the interior of the state of Queensland – sending a strong message from the state government and a commitment to reflecting the needs of the people of Queensland.

brisbane architecture

The tower’s crown is defined by a sharp chamfer that provides a distinctive skyline statement instantly recognisable from a distance. Creating a striking visual profile, the roof is splayed with rooftop terraces allowing guests to experience the Queensland climate and panoramic view.

Connectivity and connections

Connectivity on and between floors was a key driver to fulfilling the brief. The integrated fitout is arranged around a series of vertically stacked three-level atria that form a series of community sky gardens.

A series of laneway connections through the porous core allows for easy movement across the floor plate with integrated breakout spaces providing opportunity for chance encounters to extend into impromptu collaboration. The resilience of the floor plate was analysed and tested against efficiency and user experience criteria. Social, collaboration and meeting spaces are centralised around the atrium to encourage greater interaction and equitable access to natural light and views.

brisbane architecture

Using technology to enhance sustainability

Through clever design and innovative solutions, 1 William Street provides an energy efficient building that contributes to the health and wellbeing of users. The building features practical sustainability measures to maximise energy efficiency and take advantage of Brisbane’s subtropical climate.

For example, the building is rotated off the city’s street grid pattern, acknowledging the optimum aspect of north for passive sun control, sunlight penetration and sky glare.

The building incorporates innovative features that contribute to its impressive performance, including façade sunshades that vary in length and depth depending on aspect and sun exposure, automatic blind controls, LED lighting throughout the office areas, rainwater and condensation collection for landscape irrigation and lift energy regeneration.

The tower has achieved a 6 Star Green Star Office as Built v3 rating, a 5.5 star NABERS office energy rating and a 4 star NABERS office water usage rating.

Space – the first and final design frontier

To overcome the tight site constraints, the building is lifted at ground level so that the building appears to float over a dynamic network of pedestrian and view corridors that connect the site to its surroundings.

A series of eight distinct platforms cascade around the building, each with a unique design quality such as an urban retail laneway, intimate sub-tropical botanical spaces and a formalised entry space off William Street. Each platform relates to the adjacent footpath and natural ground level, mediating between the open space and the building.