Revised Design for Brisbane Riverfront Towers Project

A raft of design revisions for the $520-million multi-tower project on the former ABC site in Brisbane’s inner-west have been filed by developer Consolidated Properties Group.

Among the new documents lodged with the Brisbane City Council are updated architectural renders that highlight the design refinements.

The changes follow an information request from the council relating to the development application submitted late last year for its Monarch project.

The revised design includes alterations to the facades of the residential towers proposed for the landmark 1.5ha riverfront parcel at Toowong to “further advance their streetscape appearance, articulation, shading and perceived bulk”.

“As part of the design review process, a number of amendments have occurred, including, colour palette, facade treatments, type of material have been amended to enrich the building design and contribute a high-quality architectural outcome,” the urban planning response to the council said.

A “veil” facade is now proposed on both riverside towers, providing privacy screening, building separation and visual interest, and “finns” have been introduced to the Coronation Drive tower facade for improved privacy, shading and texture.

Other changes include a realignment of the publicly accessible “open arcade”—connecting Coronation Drive to the river frontage—enabling it to enter the site more centrally, wrap around the heritage-registered Middenbury House, which is to be retained as a key element, and out onto Archer Street.

Riverfront Towers

▲ New renders of the proposed development for the former ABC site in Brisbane have been released. 

“While an earlier version of the plan showing the proposed arcade provided a more circuitous route through the site from Archer Street to Coronation Drive, the revised plan shows the arcade beginning just south of the fig trees, with a grand staircase and lift, bringing people from Coronation Drive into the site,” the document said.

The revised design also includes plans to create a focal point of the iconic heritage-listed fig trees along Coronation Drive, which will be covered in LED lights, providing a “sense of identity and arrival” to the site.

Increased activation of the public realm and riverfront open space is planned through outdoor dining space, art installations, landscaping and lighting.

Improvements also have been made to access as well as the shared zone of pedestrians and cyclists, which has been enlarged from the previous design, providing additional space to avoid conflicts.

Consolidated Properties’ head of residential James MacGinley said the council was generally supportive of the approach it has taken to the development’s design.

“It’ll continue to be refined as we go through the detailed design process over the next couple of months,” he said.

MacGinley said the John Wardle-designed development aimed to be “quite striking and different but also fit in well with the architecture of Brisbane’s western suburbs”.

“The architects ended up being really inspired by the architecture of the local Queenslander houses, particularly in relation to the wrap-around verandahs with the batten railings and arches,” he said.

Riverfront Towers

▲ The Queenslander was influential on the new designs. 

Although the development application is for three towers, the proposal is likely to be reduced to two towers to make way for one of Brisbane City Council’s planned Toowong-to-West End Green Bridge.

“Despite that piling rig breaking loose in the Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point during this week’s flooding, I don’t think that has deterred council from continuing with its process of building more of these pedestrian bridges and we’re really supportive of that,” MacGinley said.

He also said that while the Toowong site fronted a bend in the Brisbane River it was not inundated with the floodwaters peaking about 3m below where the ground-floor apartments will be located.

If the bridge plan proceeds, Monarch will comprise 233 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments to be priced from $550,000 to $7-million-plus for the penthouses.

MacGinley said the group was working to bring Monarch to market as soon as possible to capitalise on a projected surge in demand for apartment living from first-time buyers, downsizers, upgraders and investors.

“We see growing demand for new apartments coming down to a number of factors,” he said.

“They include rising interstate migration now that border restrictions have been removed, the growing popularity of inner-city living especially from young people, and the relative affordability of an apartment compared to a house.”

Pending development approval, construction is expected to begin on the project by the end of this year.

Consolidated Properties Group acquired the former ABC site at 600 Coronation Drive from Sunland in March last year for $43.5 million. 


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