New Overwater Bar Proposed for Howard Smith Wharves

Artist's impression of Overwater Pier Bar at Howard Smith Wharves
Artist's impression of Overwater Pier Bar at Howard Smith Wharves

In what is probably the closest thing to a traditional seaside pier in Brisbane, a development application has been submitted to build a new octagonal overwater bar as part of the Howard Smith Wharves redevelopment.

Proposed by HSW Nominees Pty Ltd and designed by Inaspace Architects, the proposed 280 sqm Champagne bar and music venue is an octagonal shaped timber building and sits directly under the Story Bridge, protruding out onto the river on a new public boardwalk.

Artist's impression of Overwater Pier Bar at Howard Smith Wharves
Artist’s impression of Overwater Pier Bar at Howard Smith Wharves

The building’s architecture consists of large arched doors leading into a central space which has been inspired by the Story Bridge arched pylons. Internally, the fitout makes reference to a different olde worlde time in Brisbane’s history mixed with some European influences and is being designed by interior designer Anna Spiro.

Artist's impression of inside the Overwater Pier Bar at Howard Smith Wharves
Artist’s impression of inside the Overwater Pier Bar at Howard Smith Wharves

According to the development application, a central bar design has been adopted so patrons can enjoy the river views and breezes throughout the venue while still being able to connect with the DJ and musicians. A generous outdoor lounge area is planned on the boardwalk pier.

During the day, the waterfront deck will be a relaxation and drinking spot, come night time, the late-night music will become a nightcap destination for its neighbouring restaurants and hotel visitors.

The design reflects a laid-back atmosphere inviting not only locals, but interstate and international visitors to enjoy the true, relaxed spirit of Brisbane. – Development Application

Construction continues on the Deague Group’s new 164 room five-star Art Series Hotel which is expected to be completed next year. The hotel will consist of four new ground-level retail tenancies, a rooftop pool as well as conference facilities.

Artist's impression of the Howard Smith Wharves
Artist’s impression of the Howard Smith Wharves

Last month the retail lineup was revealed, which included some big names:

  • ‘Fresh Greek’ restaurant by Sydney chef-restauranteur Jonathan Barthelmess
  • A Hong Kong Chinese style eatery by Brisbane restauranteur Andrew Baturo (co-owner of The Gresham)
  • Japanese restaurant Izakaya which has restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne by Matt Yazbek
  • A craft brewery
  • A bakery and coffee roastery on site

The development application number for this project is A004819295.


  1. To me, it looks out of place. It reminds me of Blackpool or something on the English coast, not in line with the contemporary styling of the rest of the site.

  2. Stop stop stop…….this looks horrendous. Is that the best we can do??? looks like is a 1970’s revivalist piece ….. cheap superficial dumb architecture on the most visually prominent space on the river!!!
    I suggest commissioning Cox, BVN or Arkhefield to design this.

  3. Looks great, I like that they have been brave enough to go with a more traditional design. The need for every new building to have more glass, more steel and more wacky sculptural curves has well since become tiresome and creatively bankrupt.

  4. If this was original, I would love this building, but please don’t create fake heritage!!! Look at Spring Hill, its hard to tell what is real and what is a copy due to the Spring Hill Development Control plan of the 80s. And should we be building in front of the bridge pylons like this? (Speaking of river-level establishments, perhaps the government should buy back the old Drift restaurant at Milton instead and fix it up or demolish??)

  5. Ghastly. A pastel speigeltent. If it requires that style something similar to the Shorncliffe Pier would be preferable. Why does Brisbane have to have such a mish- mash of architectural design in precincts,it should blend. Also it is a subtropical city and the architecture should reflect that.Bring back the Lindsay Clares and the Gabriel Pooles of this world.

  6. The picture looks great and that what Brisbane Queensland needs a beautiful Howard Smith present invention for Brisbane should be a wonderful world class infrastructure City.


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