Urbis Think Tank
Urbis Win AILA QLD 2011-05-31 Urban Design Award In Landscape Architecture
King George Square Redevelopment Design
100 Adelaide Street and 123 Ann Street, Brisbane, QLD
Brisbane City Council
$24 million ($3,385/m2) (including busway infrastructure)
Queensland Landscape Architecture Award
The Jury commend Urbis for the determination and professional skill evident in the many positive urban design outcomes achieved through their courageous redevelopment scheme for Brisbane’s King George Square. As the capital city’s premier civic space, the landscape architects have, in close collaboration with their client and a diverse consultant tem, created a highly contemporary and functional public place which simultaneously respects the history of the Square while confidently redefining its character for a new generation of citizens to embrace.
Urbis’ design response adroitly meets the complex challenges posed by a demanding brief and site, including integration of publics transport infrastructure, resolution of complex public access requirements and level changes, overcoming the constraints of a podium landscape and perhaps most significantly, achieving a find balance between the competing requirements for hosting large public gatherings as well as supporting the daily activities of its users so essential to the life of the city.
Hear about the project from the designers
King George Square is Brisbane’s principal civic space and the location for major events, protests and public gathering. The open and flexible centre of the Square accommodates large crowds whist offering open views toward the heritage facade of City Hall. The space permits City Hall and he people of Brisbane to be the focus of the Square, not the space itself.
The rear of the Square is a large shaded meeting place brought to life by a restaurant, outdoor dining, a living wall of sub-tropical plants and a water feature designed by local artists. These elements, alongside regular events, create a special destination for the city. “People watching” is facilitated via a broad amphitheatre with seating shaded by a canopy of flowering trees.
Perimeter steps and planter boxes have been replaced with gentle ramps allowing pedestrian flows, and views to and from, nearby destinations such as the Queen Street Mall and Roma Street Parklands. At night the space comes to life. The theatrical lighting of the facade of city Hall is complimented by colour-changing lights in the pavement and beneath the Square’s many historic statues.
The large roof at the rear of the Square captures rainwater used in irrigating the site’s trees and the green wall, as well as feeding the water feature.