15 Aug 23

Coronation Drive – next step for ‘Buildings That Breathe’

It’s one thing for an architect to design a building but something else entirely for them to live or work in their creation. They are two totally different experiences.

Such is the case for the Woods Bagot designers who delivered Heritage Lanes 80 Ann Street, a mixed-use commercial tower that won the coveted 2023 Lord Mayor’s ‘Brisbane Building’s That Breathe’ architecture prize among many other awards.

They and the rest of W-B’s Brisbane team moved into Heritage Lanes at the beginning of this year. It was a revelation.

That experience is now informing their work on other projects, including a new 24-storey office building proposed for Coronation Drive, Milton, a city-fringe location across from the Brisbane River.

“We moved in at the start of this year and soon after started designing Coronation Drive,” says Ama Adikari, associate at Woods Bagot.

“Once we’d experienced Heritage Lanes – especially those common areas like the elevated lobby on level 1 with its breathable façade and landscape integration, it changed our perception of what a commercial building can be in Brisbane,” Adikari says

Buildings That Breathe is a Brisbane City Council (BCC) design manifesto that encourages “new buildings in the city to embrace the subtropical climate, “opening up to cooling breezes, providing lush landscaping, shade and comfort”.

“It’s geared towards the climate and sub-tropical living: open spaces, external spaces, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor,” says Adikari.

“If you’re doing a building up here you should be doing a lot of these things anyway.”

Adikari says “we’re using the principles to further refine what a subtropical commercial building could be” with the Coronation Drive tower.

Coronation tower overview.

Breezeway at Coronation Drive.

Designed for Silverstone Developments, it is now with BCC for Development Approval.

Inspiration for the design was also drawn from well-known Brisbane buildings including the Regatta Hotel in nearby Toowong, famous for its deep balconies.

Balconies are a key design feature of Coronation Drive with at least one on every level on the “hero corner” facing the city.

Every third floor has a deeper balcony centrally located on the eastern elevation to take advantage of river views and cooling breezes.

In all cases landscaping spills down, softening the hard angles above a densely planted podium rising above street level.

Layered facades assist with solar shading, making the building more efficient and sustainable, while the rooftop is designed as a communal space for all tenants with flexible indoor and outdoor space.

“Our intention with the design is to really take advantage of Brisbane’s subtropical climate and the building’s location next to the river.”


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Martin Kelly
Content and Communications Leader (Australia & New Zealand)

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