Shape shifters: Vertical Brisbane school, eco-friendly CBD building take top architecture awards

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Shape shifters: Vertical Brisbane school, eco-friendly CBD building take top architecture awards


James Davidson Architects – now JDA Co – were commended for their work to return the 1888-built Princess Theatre as a thriving Brisbane theatre hub.

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The architectural judges acknowledged the historical research, repairs, substantial roof-works involved in the reconstruction.

“The work minimised impact to the original fabric of the building and has resulted in the revitalisation of the Theatre, benefitting both its conservation and the public.”

Architects Fender Katsalidis won Brisbane City Council’s category of Buildings That Breathe category for the innovative and complex merging of two ageing office towers in Charlotte and Mary streets to create Brisbane’s five-star, Green Star Midtown Centre.

Judges praised the work that saved an estimated 11,000 tonnes of carbon emissions compared with demolishing the existing buildings and completing a total new structure.

“The development integrates an existing local heritage building addressing Mary Street in a sensitive manner and emphasises the original heritage brickwork and building blueprint,” judges reported.

Brisbane CBD’s Midtown Centre was recognised for saving 11,000 tonnes of carbon emission.Credit:David Chatfield

“Dual lobbies are provided to each street address, one for the main tenant, Rio Tinto, at Charlotte Street in addition to an alternate lobby off Mary Street.

“Refurbishment of existing building as opposed to a tear down and new build contributed to a cumulative impact reduction in terms of carbon footprint that equates to 11,000 tonnes of carbon savings.

“[That is] equivalent to running the building fully occupied, carbon-neutral for four years.”

Other notable Brisbane designs recognised on the weekend were KIRK architects’ Timber Tower office building on Lomandra Drive at Brisbane Airport and Bligh Graham Architects’ new concept blending home and workspaces in the Samford Village.

The design work by JDA Co architects at the recently-restored Princess Theatre at Woolloongabba has  been recognised.

The design work by JDA Co architects at the recently-restored Princess Theatre at Woolloongabba has been recognised.

The Timber Tower won judges commendation for the detailed timber prefabrication work before it was erected on site in one month in 2021 at the existing NIOA combat weapons business site at Brisbane Airport.

The timber was gown in Queensland for a series of construction projects in Brisbane and Maryborough.

“Innovatively drawing on residential construction techniques and materials has given the building a real warmth and familiarity, extending the use of timber through to door frames, joinery, and wall linings.”

A full list of Brisbane architects acknowledged on the weekend can be found here.



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