The newly redeveloped riverside pier comfortably balances the community’s historical past and signifies its new age of economic and cultural growth after the damage caused by Cyclone Maria in 2015. To achieve this, the designers catalyzed multiple influences such as nearby sites, natural landscapes, and local industries to influence the overall design of the two-story public building. The result is a destination that hosts a public landing on the lower ground level and the restaurant on the main concourse.
Its linear shape and industrial aesthetic are borrowed from the steel Fitzroy Bridge to the North. In the east lies Mount Archer, a mountain formerly filled with goldmines that beckoned the city’s mining industry. To marry these two inspirations, rich tones of the natural land imbued the color scheme and influenced the selection of a natural material palette comprised of stone, metal, timber, and glass—which were installed and assembled by traditional methods by local craftsmen. Its north- and south-facing glass façades are broken up by polygonal, weathered metal partitions that allow for views to the 19-hectare parkland it resides in as well as the bridge while warding off the sun’s heat.
Its vertical lift responds to the location’s subtropical climates and flood-prone coast. Similarly, the historical, colonial-era Victorian buildings utilized parapets on Quay Street. This porch composition also takes inspiration from these very buildings constructed out of solid masonic walls and colonnades that form open verandas for relief from the sun’s heat. The pier’s porch is an open space that is passively ventilated with cool breezes going through the corridor and deck and topped with a river-facing, cantilevered awning to provide shade and take in its advantageous location.