Christie Building Gets $25m Facelift

Plans for a $25 million makeover of the Christie Building at 320 Adelaide St have been lodged with Brisbane City Council.

The plans include replacing old imitation sandstone cladding to a regulation-compliant cladding, and a contemporary addition to the site with stepped terraces that add a further 1488sq m of gross floor area and 353sq m of outdoor space.

The L-shaped modernist building was originally built in the 1960s to accommodate the ATO. Robert Christie bought the building in 1999 and its facade was updated with non-compliant expanded polystyrene cladding.

Christie Spaces national asset manager Michael Conroy said they had decided to add value to the building instead of just updating the cladding, and engaged Fitzpatrick + Partners’ Paul Reidy.

The construction of the stepped terraces will add more leasable space to the site, and extend its footprint on the parcel of land. There are also plans to demolish the top floor and rebuild it as a penthouse boutique office space incorporating glass and timber.

“I think it’s a pretty exciting project … it’s a very innovative sort of redesign,” Conroy said.

“We wanted to add value to the building, we wanted to actually really improve the building. The top floor is being completely redone.”

Conroy said the well-known Christie Building was the largest flexible co-working space in Australia. The company has been renovating the building in line with this strategy and work-life shift since 2016.

Conroy said while Covid had impacted the CBD he believed there would be a shift back to workplaces in line with a hub-and-spoke model.

“With all the stock around you really need to offer something outside the box to bring (workers) back into the city from home.”

Fitzpatrick + Partners’ Paul Reidy said flexible working was an important part of the redesign.

“The opportunity was there to give it a new face and amenity. (The new construction adds) a series of terraces going away from the corner, adding in additional outdoor breakout spaces,” Reidy said.

Reidy said the new development and refurbished penthouse incorporated timber and glass for a contemporary refresh.

“The impact of Covid means more people are working from home. The office has to offer you more and that is in part technology and collaboration, but the building itself has to offer comfort and warmth and amenity.”

A timeline for the construction process will not begin until plans are approved by the Brisbane City Council.


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