Feature image for the article 'DA approved for 320 George Street, one of Brisbane’s narrowest high-rise CBD buildings'

Hames Sharley’s designs for the redevelopment of an iconic 135-year old heritage building in Brisbane’s CBD have been released, revealing the 30-storey commercial tower will likely be one of the narrowest high-rise buildings in the city.

Hames Sharley undertook the design on behalf of the owners, Lionmar Holdings has been approved by Brisbane City Council.

Queensland Studio Leader, Jason Preston, said the building’s narrowness meant the design needed to be innovative in dealing with the challenges of structural tension, compression and stability.

“At just nine and a half-metres wide and 30 stories tall, we believe this would be the narrowest building of a comparable height in Brisbane,” said Jason.

“Given the building’s four lifts are designed as a ‘side core’ to the west boundary wall, a building of this kind will twist and sway differently to a traditional tower, which is usually anchored by a number of central lifts, stair cores and a larger floor plate.

“Working closely in collaboration with Currie and Brown (project managers) and ADG (structural and façade engineers), we proposed a hybrid ‘exo-skeleton’ bracing system for the building, both as a structural necessity and to visually anchor the building, whilst retaining a typical continuous glazed curtain wall as the external skin.”

The 30-storey commercial tower will feature 9,100 square metres of boutique commercial office space, three levels of restaurant space, 2x Apartments, plus a rooftop bar and 17 carparks.

“At the building’s base, a fine dining restaurant is proposed featuring a three-storey open view to the city that will give diners an indoor and outdoor experience by taking full advantage of the beautiful sub-tropical Brisbane climate,” Mr Preston said.

“Atop 320 George Street, is a rooftop bar that will feature prominent views across the Brisbane River to South Brisbane and through the CBD.

“There I also an expansive 400-square metre city room and garden on level 14 for tenants to utilise and enjoy, which is becoming a normal integrated part of key CBD developments since the inception of BCC’s Building’s that Breathe Guide

The heritage façade at 320 George Street is integral to the cities history will be restored under the expert guidance of heritage architect Malcolm Elliot from Vault Heritage Consulting Pty Ltd.

“Unfortunately, most of the interior heritage features were gutted in the 1980’s when 320 George Street was rebuilt internally,” said Jason.

“There is existing original brick work which has been covered in plaster during one of the past renovations.

“We are proposing to peel back the layers of render to expose the original brick work internally in the lobby.”

When complete, the building is expected to earn premium A-grade commercial development status due to its sustainability characteristics, high-end lobby finishes, express lifts and high-performing services. The design incorporates nationally-recognised sustainability characteristics to ensure its long-term viability and performance in the Brisbane CBD.

Mr Preston said Hames Sharley’s design incorporated the client’s desire for an entrance that was grand and honoured the heritage status of the existing building.

“The scale of the floor plates are quite conducive to smaller operations and quick fitout turn-around.

“Located within the legal precinct of Brisbane, there is potential for tenants to scale up and secure extra space when there is a demand quickly”.

As the first redevelopment of a heritage site along the 320-372 George St block the development provides the catalyst for further revitalisation and renewed activation through this quarter of the Brisbane CBD.”

Now approved by Brisbane City Council, construction of the building is expected to start before Christmas 2019.