Northbank was the site I chose for my final year design project in 2009. The project was recognised in several student competitions, including a commendation in the 2010 Colorbond Student Biennale, shortlisting in the 2010 RIBA President’s medal and shortlisting in the ASAI Architecture in Perspective 25 Student Awards.
The scheme is an urban planning and public architecture proposition that salvages a section of Brisbane Riverbank adjacent to the CBD that has been rendered uninhabitable and impenetrable by layers of 1970s traffic infrastructure.
By manipulating the road and busway networks, opportunities are made for architectural interventions that create places along the riverbank, are scaled appropriately for people and provide a range of context-specific, civic functions.
The southbound lanes of the expressway are excavated under new public ground plane and pedestrian-paced city street. A generous footpath along the river edge of North Quay can be reinstated, and in places a thin sequence of retail spaces, public places and functions creates a perforated built edge to the river.
At the centre of the scheme are two timber and steel hulks that squeeze up through the expressway and lean on the bank. The first, adjacent to Brisbane Square, creates a large events gathering space at city level with restaurants and a CityCat ferry shopfront along its outer edge, and child care facilities, bike storage and gym tucked below. The second exploits a grand found volume below twisting off-ramps, and houses a bar and live music. Both forms are derived from the lost landscape between the riverbank and roadworks, and reference darker memories of the river in the city.
A duplicate bus-only bridge untangles one of the city’s most deadly traffic conflicts by removing vehicular dominance of the Victoria Bridge and the key pedestrian plazas on both banks of the river.
The models were all CNC cut by my router, and were re-shaped and re-built as the design progressed.