Aria Unveils Incredible Waterfall Inspired Tower for South Brisbane

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Artist's impression of 77 Hope Street tower's rooftop recreation deck

Brisbane-based Aria Property Group has submitted a new development application for a striking 33 storey residential tower for 77 Hope Street, South Brisbane which has been inspired by Queensland’s rainforest’s and sub-tropical climate.

A design competition between four architectural firms (Koichi Takada, Elenberg Fraser, RotheLowman & Woods Marsh) was undertaken across the country to determine the most successful design.

Artist’s impression of 77 Hope Street from Grey Street, South Bank
Artist’s impression of 77 Hope Street from Hope Street, South Brisbane
Artist’s impression of 77 Hope Street from Hope Street, South Brisbane

The winning design by Koichi Takada Architects fosters all elements of Brisbane City Council’s ‘Buildings that Breathe’ guidelines. It is a scheme that boasts endless hanging gardens and overflowing planters that creep up the sides of the building.

The tower oozes of unique sub-tropical style design elements which could only be achieved in sub-tropical cities like Brisbane and Singapore.

The Waterfall

Koichi Takada has proposed a 118 metre (33 level) high waterfall that runs the full length of the western elevation of the tower.

Diagram of proposed tower waterfall feature

Water will start off on the rooftop pool deck and slowly cascade down the tower via glass panels, visually dividing the tower into two parts. As the waterfall reaches the podium of the tower, just like a natural waterfall, the water will dissipate with a misting affect created on the podium green walls and ground level planting.

“Watching water cascade over the lip of a waterfall is hypnotic. Starting as a steady stream, and as it falls feathering into a cloud of mist and soaking everything around.” – Koichi Takada

The podium misting feature forms part of the maintenance of the plants as well as providing a visual clue to the water features in the design. The misting will carry down to the public domain creating a cooling effect to pedestrians and visitors to the retail.

Artist’s impression of Hope Street ground level

The waterfall and green walls will be illuminated at night, a constantly moving and dancing light as it bounces off the water.

“The concept of ‘Waterfall’ captured ARIA Property Group’s vision to create iconic Residential and Retail properties that we will be proud to walk our families past in 20 year’s time. This vision and attention to detail is what sets us apart and we always strive to improve with every project, to achieve our goal of being the best quality apartment developer in the country.” – Aria Property Group

Artist’s impression of ground floor level and Fish Lane


A plethora of expansive green walls cover large portions of the tower’s facade, especially on the long west-facing side which is heavily shaded using building and landscape elements such as screens and green planting. The greenery will incorporate a misting irrigation technique to cool the air as it passes through the green facade.

The majority of apartments face north-east towards the city and enjoy cross ventilation. An open and natural ventilated western corridor allows access to the majority of apartments.

This naturally ventilated corridor reduces energy consumption on an otherwise temperature controlled area. According to Koichi Takada, natural ventilation makes for a healthy building environment and contributes to sustainable building initiatives.

Artist’s impression of proposed tower form from Hope Street, South Brisbane

Taking queues from the QLD design vernacular, large screens make up a defining feature of the building’s facade, rooftop feature and ground floor awnings.

The architectural screens are said to enhance the form, and create a sculptural element to the design. It is hoped that the screens will enhance the slender and vertical nature of the design when viewed along Hope Street.

Artist’s impression of rooftop screens which cover up to 50% of the rooftop communal deck

Throughout the common corridors of the proposed tower, a dramatic work of natural art has been proposed using the power of the sun. Light from sunrise and sunset will be amplified by tinted glass and also emulating the feature full high waterfall.

During sunrise, it will cast a blue and lilac colour into the residential corridor and lift lobbies forming what will be a continually changing ambience for residents on their way in or out of the building.

Skye Bridge at One Central Park, East – Ateliers Jean Nouvel + Interiors by Koichi Takada Architects

Similarly the afternoon will bring dramatic colours and shades of red into the corridor, patterned with the effect of the real water that flows down the western facade’s waterfall.

Diagram of proposed lighting feature

New Park & Fish Lane Retail

As part of the development proposal, Aria Property Group will also create a new urban common park located next to the tower – underneath the railway lines. Along with the urban common, Fish Lane will be transformed into a newly activated laneway featuring public art, landscaping, signage, lighting and retail activation.

Fish Lane has recently become a vital link from South Bank to South Brisbane and continues to grow in prominence as one of Brisbane’s newest retail and dining laneways.

“Careful curating of the retail user to ensure the mix of tenants is complementary and not cannibalistic, maximises the entire laneway’s potential for long term public acceptance.” – Aria Property Group

According to the development application, public art is the major component of the Fish Lane collaboration between BCC and Aria and plans to create what is known as ‘the soffit of the rail line’.

Diagram of proposed Fish Lane Masterplan between Grey Street and Hope Street

The soffit presents a blank canvas for art, with the possibility of including a digital project art form, that can be changed over time, for specific events, or for public events.

A high level of landscaping, deep planting and public dining areas, including rainforest planters, feature stone pavement, misters, seating pods, outdoor stage and green walls are also planned for the park.

The Fish Lane Masterplan has identified opportunities to incorporate the rail underpass’ pylons for public art and highlights lighting as an integral part of the laneway’s future.

The concepts for the public art in the rail underpass site, could also extent to creative lighting events and installations such as moving light projections. The concepts of using this space for public events could allow a Vivid Sydney style event with projected artwork, the integration of integrative lighting installations, or the play of events such as a silent disco.

It is anticipated that by the time this project commences construction there would have been 30 new public art installations in the laneway.

Residential Recreation Deck

The planned rooftop recreation deck features a myriad of indoor and outdoor residential amenities, delivering views over Austin towards the Brisbane River and CBD.

The rooftop itself, with an area of 1040m2, has 40% indoor amenity including gym, yoga room, change rooms, theatre, and bookable dining rooms equipped with a full commercial kitchen.

The theatre offers a flexible environment for movies, kids games, and when the screen is retracted, a quite room to relax also with city views. The screen will be retractable, dropping down in theatre mode in front of the picture window.

The external amenities include a 50m lap pool, BBQ Area, built in seating, sunken lounges and landscaping. The outdoor space is partially sheltered by the feature awning structures, incorporating hanging gardens and creating dappled light.

Diagram of rooftop recreation deck
Diagram of rooftop recreation deck

The rooftop amenity areas open space, indoor and outdoor amenity, exceed the minimum requirements for multi-dwelling housing, with more than 7 times the communal open space requirement.

The DA number for this development is A004623409.

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  • Imagine living in one of the units that continuously had foggy windows because of the waterfall. Body corp would be through the roof if new water is constantly being added to the waterfall

  • Is that a single storey foyer?

    Great design & I hope they can get the waterfall working without it having to be chlorinated & behind glass

    • It will certainly have to be chlorinated (unless they want a green waterfall) and probably behind glass at lower levels to minimise splashing.

  • There is a lot to like with this building. It ticks a lot of boxes both as a quality residential building and in terms of its activation of public space.

    However, my concern is in relation to the waterfall and green walls. Green walls are amazing and beautiful IF they’re maintained properly. While that’s easier for non-residential buildings, residential buildings tend to be dominated by body corporates (who want to reduce their fees to themselves) and minimise maintenance costs wherever possible. You can see examples, such as Mosaic in the Valley, where these green walls become overgrown to the extent where they impact the usability of neighbouring windows.

    The other thing is the waterfall. What an amazing and dramatic concept! I love the idea in principle, but as with many things, the value is in the execution. It would be interesting to see how they deal with issues such as noise, splashing and evaporation. Also, what’s the underside of the waterfall going to look like, just in case there’s another drought and they have to turn it off?

    At the end of the day, while all of these things are great, if they’re not going to do them well, don’t do them at all.

  • I can assure you having worked with the Aria closely and having invested with them personally, they do not do things on the cheap. It will be executed with absolute focus on detail and quality.

    • I agree that Aria are fantastic. They are in my mind, without doubt, the best developer in Brisbane. It’s not even close. Aria wins by a country mile.

      The problem isn’t necessarily Aria, but the purchasers 3,5,10 years down the track who make up the Body Corporate and get frustrated with the costs of cleaning and maintenance (which won’t be cheap).

      Some developers are good at locking up their body corporates (say through retaining a solid proportion of apartments and therefore votes), while others sell everything off and hand over building management to the body corporate (or a building manager with a budget set by the body corporate), which introduces the incentive to cut costs.

      Needless to say, this is the equivalent of a detached house owner not mowing their lawn because they want to save on fuel, and it may not matter to them right now, but it matters when they go to sell, especially if other people in the street have given up mowing their lawns too.

      I don’t want to be too negative on the building – I do think it’s beautiful, but it’s the uncertainty that worries me going forward.

  • Impressive building, it’s about time Brisbane got some unique architecture.

    Especially with the waterfall!

  • I love the look and style and features and on a brochure these tick all the boxes. Great to see finally someone is thinking that when someone moves from a large house and we change to an apartment, the key elements which the apartment wont have are still incorporated elsewhere in the building, Large Dining for events, the Theatre room, Yoga , Gym and pool. The only thing I would like to see in a building design and execution for the money they ask for these building’s is a relative smart and efficient building. They put some plants on the side to make it feel green and eco, which looks good on a brochure but smart buyers paying premium dollar should have a smart 5 star energy building – promote that as well. Say that you have Led smart lights that eco or turn off when know one is there. Do not use element or GAS hot water when it is the most expensive way to heat the hot water, use heat pump or capture all the heat from the air conditioners that are just being dumped currently form the buildings cool towers, use it for the pool for free to 28-30 degrees and incorporate a spa that can be heated to 38 degrees captured from the buildings air conditioning … Add solar or wind technology into design.. plants are nice if maintained correctly but where is the smart builder/designer/architect that isn’t just about designing a look good building that is crazy expensive for the future owners and body corp… time for a shift in smart design not just one element of some flashing outside small apartment with one garage cheap materials and expensive once your handed the keys ….. looking at a future apartment it is good to see the look of this is different and it has caught my initial eye… I only wish extra design and thoughts go in the back end to make it a stand out 5 star energy rated building by not using ,element,gas heating, old style lighting and capturing what they are wasting in heat from their air cons and heat the pool so it actually can be enjoyed.

  • The climate of Singapore (not sub-tropical, paragraph four, as it is 1.5 degrees north of the Equator) is quite different to Brisbane. Variations in rainfall, winds, seasons, humidity, and temperatures are substantial between the two locales. There may be some useful broad aspects, but a building designed for Singapore is unlikely to work well here.

    • You’re geography teacher must be so proud of you, mate, but you’ve missed the intent of the sentence (they’ve considered and incorporated ‘sub-tropical style design elements’ into this building).

      The Brisbane Development writer has incorrectly identified Singapore as a sub-tropical city, as you rightly point out, but there’s no suggestion within this article that the architectural firm, Koichi Takada Architects, has designed this building for Singapore, as you imply.

    • By focusing on an anomalous geographic reference (yeah, Singapore is tropical, not sub-tropical – definitely bank that one for trivia night) you’ve managed to miss the point entirely.

      The building considers and incorporates sub-tropical style design elements, which would work well here in Brisbane.

      • It seems that both of you have actually missed the point, beyond the imprecise Singapore being sub-tropical reference. The climate of Brisbane is quite different to an equatorial locale like Singapore. The lack of seasons and high humidity being the obvious features of difference. But more importantly the ambient windspeeds in Singapore are much less than Brisbane. This means that building massing design attributes that work there (eg open space under Hitachi House in Singapore) may not work in Brisbane. So, I simply wished to point out that using tropical design features will not uniformly work in a sub-tropical city. Imprecise language has implications.

        • Let it go, knob-jockey. No-one here’s proposing tropical design features in a sub-tropical city. Your invalid point is pointless.

          • Your descent into personal insults indicates that you have no more to contribute to the discussion. It demeans yourself, intellectually, and the host webpage, as their guest. Done.

  • If the waterfall is using green energy, say solar, and won’t put extra cost for the residents, then I would pro this feature. Otherwise, why the heck should the buyers pay a premium body corp fee to make such a thing running? Too much money to burn?

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