It isn’t just the the climate that’s hot in Brisbane as new projects got under way at pace in 2023.
Even the well-reported challenges for construction in the state did little to dim the sparkle and shine of projects.
More home loans were taken out in the Sunshine State than any other last year, and it had the nation’s second strongest economic momentum, according to CommSec’s State of the States report in October.
This was driven by the state’s population growrth of 2.7 per cent, bringing the number of residents to 5.46 million, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports mid-year.
Although the number of new houses approved was down 3.4 per cent to 1679 houses, units were on the rise—up 10.7 per cent in October, a healthy sign for the sector.
Meanwhile, the value of construction was up 9.5 per cent to $12.31 billion in the year to September as the city geared up for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032.
CoreLogic data to the end of November showed house prices had increased to a $779,270 median value, close to that of Melbourne. That was an 11.9 per cent increase for the year while units also had unusually strong growth up 11.3 per cent to $552,332.
But it was not neccesarily Brisbane’s biggest projects that grabbed our attention as the most surprising, engaging or inspired. Here’s our list of the nine coolest projects to cross our desk last year.
101 Albert Street, Brisbane CBD
Developer: Queensland Investment Corporation
Architect: Architectus and Henning-Larsen
QIC gained approval for its landmark $750-million, 40-storey office tower in the Albert Street Cross River Rail precinct in November.
The Albert Street development will be the first of four above-ground developments linked to the $5.4-billion Cross River Rail project, adding 45,000sq m of commercial space above the station.
17-27 Skyring Terrace, Teneriffe
Developer: Kokoda Property Group
Architect: Cottee Parker Architects
Luxury apartment developer Kokoda Property Group lodged plans for a giant three-tower residential and hotel development on the inner-Brisbane riverfront in October.
The three towers, from 12 to 30 storeys and up to 111m high, would provide space for 381 apartments and a 160-key hotel plus nearly 5000sq m of retail, office, food, drink and recreational space.
30-44 Station Road, Indooroopilly
Developer: Keylin Group
Architect: Jackson Teece
Keylin lodged plans for a 478-apartment build-to-rent development at Indooroopilly in mid-2023, which would be the first build-to-rent in the area.
Four towers up to 20 storeys and a “suburban rainforest” covering 45 per cent of the site were part of the plans and also expected to spark the regeneration of the western suburb.
White curvy towers, arches and cascading gardens were a big architectural theme across the Queensland capital with a notable mention to Arklife’s build-to-rent project at Fortitude Valley.
122 Gailey Road, St Lucia
Developer: Vista Projects
Architect: Contreras Earl Architecture
Gold Coast-based Contreras Earl Architecture undertook a dramatic redesign of a previously approved townhouse site at St Lucia, one of the city’s oldest and most established suburbs.
The modernist row of urban caves overlooking the city would create five four-level townhouses each with a rooftop terrace with a striking design from both sides.
41-47 Tribune Street, South Brisbane
Architect: Plus Architecture
Student housing provider Scape revised its plans to upscale an approved 15-storey development to cater for a surge in demand.
Four storeys were added to the design bolstering the tower’s capacity to 524 beds, adding to the group’s 4000 bedrooms across South Bank and Toowong.
92 Kingsford Smith Drive, Hamilton
Developer: Brava Property Group
Architect: Myers Ellyett Architects
The 14-storey tower plans for “a sub-tropical tree, extending up from the ground through a trunk, branches, canopy and tree house” were lodged mid-year.
The entity linked to Brisbane developer Denis Tomasela proposed 62 apartments between Brisbane’s future athlete’s village and the 2032 Games indoor sports precinct.
Urban forests were a rising architectural theme-in-the-making across Brisbane with Aria’s plans designed by Koichi Takada at South Brisbane resurrected in November.
150 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane
It took 15 years for the superannuation-backed property investor to secure the “final piece” of the puzzle in the CBD consolidated site that includes the Regent Theatre building, Zara, Wintergarden and the Hilton Hotel.
Plans for the 42-storey commercial tower were unveiled in September and show an eight-storey podium knitting a hotel, carpark, retail and commercial space together.
1026-1068 Wynnum Road, Cannon Hill
Developer: Anthony John Group
Architect: Blight Rayner
Then 10-level CBD-grade office tower was proposed in September as part of the urban regeneration of the former CSIRO site.
It would become part of the East Village mixed-use precinct, a 5.5ha holding that was initially touted as a $600-million project when construction began in 2012.
Cairns & Deakin corner, Kangaroo Point
Developer: Delta Australia Holdings
Architect: Architectus and WOHA
Plans were filed for an elevated 30-storey residential tower rising above a proposed public park in Brisbane’s historic inner-city Dockside precinct at Kangaroo Point, also in September.
The application for the 232-apartment tower was lodged by an entity linked to Singapore-based Bloomberg Incorporation, which developed the 53-storey Riparian Plaza.
Cantilever towers were an architectural theme nationwide with Fortis planning a more subtle tower designed by Plus Architecture earlier in the year, also in Kangaroo Point.