A new Brisbane ideas competition will be launched at an upcoming event this month which aims to challenge the city’s status quo for a selected Brisbane site.
Each year, a site will be chosen as the subject for the ideas competition where students can submit ideas to enhance the nominated space.
This year, King George Square has been chosen as a selected site. Twelve design ideas from Queensland University of Technology students have been shortlisted for the design ideas competition.
Presented by Plus Architecture, Scape, BrisbaneDevelopment.com and CBRE Residential Projects, the winner will receive an internship at Plus Architecture, with the runner up and people’s choice to each receive a $500 cash prize.
Cast your vote below for your favourite design idea which would reimagine or enhance King George Square. Design competition winners will be announced on the 31st of August.
Alexandra Salonen – Arbour
Alexandra’s Arbour proposal aims to give the public realm back to the people, providing a clear thoroughfare, through the use of an arbour, and green space at the centre of the site.
It also provides access points to the underground busway and aims to integrate the system of transport into the site as well as allowing for a more clear area for food stalls, encouraging more activity in the site.
The form of the design proposal was influenced by a need to break up the rigidity of the cityscape. Cutting away forms using the circular nature of Brisbane City Hall’s dome both in plan and section assisted in creating a rolling wave like form, as if the topography of the land attempts to rise up again under the weight of the city.
Christopher Ho – Urban Curiosity
Christopher’s design idea aims to make the square not just a thoroughfare but more of a destination. He has proposed to turn neglected space into a space of exploration and discovery.
“Over the years, the city skylines are constantly redeveloping, as cities are a centre of human civilisation and invention. We need to look forward and design cities into the future.”
“However below our city skylines, what gives the city’s true identity is through these, forgotten, unwanted small pockets of spaces. These small hidden agenda’s are brief escape from reality, from the busy city lifestyle.”
“These spaces are favourable for store owners, cafes and boutiques due to the separation of the city life, allowing occupants to express their own twist to the space inside. The objective of this proposal is to introduce the Pop-Up Store culture into our vast Brisbane city lifestyle and culture as pop-up stores are becoming a movement which could be predominantly expanded, explored socially and culturally with the community.”
The idea proposes to form a series of thoroughfares and laneways to form obscure spaces in narrow alleyways where users can walk around and explore.
“The level above is a cultural hub which blends multiple settings into a centralised destination; a place to congregate, socialise and a playground for children. The notable issue for King George is the climate, due to lack of shading devices which causes the space to be underutilised majority of the time. The greenery contrasts with the tall surrounding buildings, as well provides the comfort of shade and a sense of home/place.”
Ethan Fitzpatrick – Respecting City Hall
Ethan’s proposal seeks to create a space unique to Brisbane by focusing on the true site hero, the historic City Hall building. To achieve this, the plan proposes to reconfigure the square’s layout to mirror the building’s architecture and create zone’s though ground paving.
The design idea also proposes to re-orientate the bus station entrances to open directly onto the square, thereby puling people into the square and onto their journey to and from work, increasing activation and exposure to events held int he square.
Jessica Sy – Urban Growasis
Jessica’s design idea is based upon the need to introduce more urban farming in Brisbane. Urban Growasis aims to create a community space for locals and visitors who can experience farming within an urban setting and encouraging sustainable practices, education, discovery and community growth.
“Vertical farming incorporates technology and farming to maximise space for vegetation cultivation within the urban landscape.”
The plan proposes to utilise the existing site structure to be transformed into a vertical public farm building as well as a farmers market within stalls underneath the building.
A reconfigured square with different mixes of materials proposes to create a relaxed central area while still providing cross block access and space for functions when required.
John Nicholson – Brisbane’s Canvas
John’s proposal aims to make King George Square a more flexible space, engaging and attractive for pedestrians and allowing for differing scales of gatherings and functions.
The plan proposes a highly adaptable multi-use setting that would encourage ownership and local control of the square to the community, while providing vibrancy and sense of place.
“The adaptable and transportable small-scale structures turn the square into a canvas, where the community decide the urban form and reflect a true Brisbane. Meanwhile the larger permanent structures act to create a strong sense of place on a different scale, functioning as viewing platforms for the square and housing public services such as an information centre.”
Kate Freshwater – Loose Space
Kate’s design idea proposes to create a more decommercialised space aimed to “stitch the people back to the city” by forming a more abstract, dynamic and change-friendly space.
“Our performing arts centres, museums, and libraries create opportunities for social connection, cultural expression, and political engagement. However, this publicness is often delivered in the form of highly programmed and commercialised experiences aimed at branding the cultural organisation and the city.”
Loose Space proposes to maximise an opportunity for a chance encounter, creating spaces for resting, reading, gathering, debating, protesting and better protection from environmental elements.
“Good Public space is a diagram of civilized society. How we behave in public, how we interact with others and what happens in public space is about participation.”
“The concept of ‘looseness’ in urban space is put forward by Frank and Stevens in their research on public space. They define loose space as areas which “allow for the chance encounter, the spontaneous event, the enjoyment of diversity and the discovery of the unexpected.”
Lily Pepper – Mianjin Place – Viewing The City
Lily’s design idea proposes to maximise pedestrian flow and fluidity of the square by mapping out the movement and flow between streets.
The plan proposes to create platforms placed in ideal location for ‘people watching’ and also create human derived organic pathways across the square.
A sandstone theme has been proposed throughout the square as it is representative of Brisbane and it’s architecture.
Lai Kwan Wong – Plants & Vegetation
Lai Kwan’s design idea proposes to create a module-like grid of native Queensland flowers and plants which would include sunked display spaces within the square’s ground.
Every sunken patch would be surrounded by strip lighting with some featuring aboriginal carvings.
Patricia Magistrado – Urban Intervention
Patricia’s design idea aims to be relatively practical and affordable to integrate and roll out under the current King George Square design. Under the proposal, a simple set of small-scale temporary structures with components that are relatively lightweight, low-cost can be easily assembled and transported to form different shapes and variations depending on the occasion.
It features two spatial formations in which the structures can be utilised to adapt to the current climate or respond to the current happenings on the site such as yearly cultural festivals.
This urban intervention proposal can also serve as a social platform for people to freely use for casual gatherings, rest stops or have a module for street performance or a market stall.
“The idea was inspired by the dynamics of transition on how quickly happenings unfold within the urban setting. Therefore the ideas of ‘transition’ such as modular components, temporary structures are the ideal characteristics integrate for the proposal and in order to address the current needs of the site.”
Sascha Beck Harris – The Meeting Rooms
Sascha’s design idea proposes to create a series of small pavilion style buildings that can be used for meeting rooms of any occasion.
“The meeting rooms are re-imaging the use of civic space, and how the development of working spaces from solitary to collaborative can be continued into the public realm.”
The plan proposes to use the simplicity of Japanese Tea Houses mixed with the vernacular architecture of Queensland surrounded by planters filled with native vegetation.
“The pavilions in King George Square will be permanent installations while replicas can be made as ‘kit of parts’ in other public spaces throughout the city. The meeting rooms will be publicly accessible for use by office workers and the general public, controlled by the BCC to maintain fair use of the spaces.”
Troy Pearce – Cultural Hub
Troy’s design idea proposes to create a cultural hub and pedestrian and cycle though-fare through the use of multiple levels added to the surface of the square.
“In response to the dominating colonial presence of City Hall, the pedestrian level has been used to introduce cultural elements that more representative of modern Brisbane’s ethnic diversity. To represent the vast history of our Indigenous Australians, there are two large art spaces on the pedestrian level. To bridge the cultural gap between our immigrant populations food stalls have been placed in the centre of the pedestrian space.”
“Brisbane experiences major congestion on its roads, making commuting frustrating for its residents. King George Square is attached to multiple major cycle paths throughout the CBD, so providing facilities for commuter cyclists is essential. This will not only ease traffic and frustration for commuters, but will have positive environmental and health benefits.”
Yuk Ming Cheuk – Comic-Con & Cosplay Festival
Yuk Ming’s design idea proposes to create a permanent Comic-Con style gathering space which would help create a Comic-Con hub and boost Cosplay culture in Brisbane.
A permanent interactive ‘ship’ design would allow people to be transported on a space time adventure and entice the public to dress up and take photos within this interactive space. Food and drink stalls are also proposed.
A Comic-Con style event would be held every Saturday and Sunday with the installation serving as an extension of the Museum of Brisbane during weekdays.