Queen’s Wharf Set to Host a Wonderland of Public Art

Wharf public artwork installations
Examples of proposed Queen's Wharf public artwork installations

Brisbane’s public art trail is set to be supercharged as part of Queen’s Wharf’s planned artwork program which will have the potential to deliver awe inspiring, internationally renowned destination artworks.

The public art contributions of Queen’s Wharf will stand to contribute enormously to the international reputation of the Integrated Resort Development (IRD) and aims to lure huge visitor numbers to the area through what is aimed to become iconic works of public art.

According to Brisbane City Council’s 1995 Public Art Policy, any development valued at over $5 million must contribute 0.25% of total project costs to fund artworks located in publicly visible locations and be of durable form using quality materials and of a high artistic standard.

With Queen’s Wharf’s total project cost sitting at around $3 billion, the total artwork contribution under the Brisbane City Council’s planning guidelines would be $7.5 million.

However, the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development (QWBIRD) has its own planning scheme called the Queens Wharf Priority Development Area. Governed by Economic Development Queensland, in place of the Brisbane City Council, similar artwork contributions are likely to be adhered to.

The proposed artworks at Queen’s Wharf have been broken down into several types and definitions based on the scale and location of the public art.

All proposed art is conceptual and is likely to require competitive procurement of various artists and collaborators from both Australia and abroad.

Proposed themes of Queen’s Wharf Public Art Installations

Destination Artwork

A high profile location which is considered to be of particular significance and interest. High pedestrian activity and vehicle traffic. A Destination artwork predominantly lends itself to a largescale, stand-alone form or architectural intervention. It is intended to be an iconic attractor that is easily identifiable and highly memorable.

Precinct Markers

A Precinct Marker is a focal point within the urban streetscape and landscape. This may be at a key pedestrian or vehicular decision point or a rest point along a pathway.

Precinct Markers may be standalone or may be a collection of sculptural or integrated elements and are likely to be medium-to-large-scale and of moderate proportions. Precinct Markers may assist with intuitive wayfinding within a public space through planned placement and form.

Discovery Artwork

Discovery artworks may be located along or integrated into a pedestrian pathway to create moments of surprise, pause and intrigue. Discovery artworks are typically small-to-medium in scale, may be integrated or stand-alone and may vary in form and number according to requirements.

Functional Artwork

Functional artworks serve the dual purpose of being functional objects and artworks. They may take the form of sculptural seating elements, shade structures and play elements. Functional artworks can provide platforms for rest, relaxation and recreation, and add a distinctive flavour to the urban environment.

Queen’s Wharf Precinct Type Diagram

Proposed Destination Artworks

Destination Artworks – The Veranda, IRD

Located in the core resort precinct, the Veranda aims to celebrate Brisbane’s unique sun-drenched climate. This piece plans to be a highly integrated artwork designed to clad the ceiling threshold between the Port Cochere and the Brisbane Steps.

The artwork will create a distinctive grand entrance experience, leading pedestrians between the interior space of the Port Cochere outside to the riverfront public domain of the Brisbane Steps.

The artwork will frame the scenic waterfront environment with a warm and welcoming expression of colour, texture and light, creating a transitional experience for pedestrians travelling beneath.

Concept theme images of The Veranda

Destination Artworks – Crystal Cascade, IRD

Location of planned crystal cascade artwork

Located in the core resort precinct, Crystal Cascade sits inside the atrium and aims to evoke a grand sense of arrival to the IRD by mimicking the play of natural light enacted across the surface of the Brisbane River by day and night.

Crystal Cascade will aim to be a highly integrated artwork designed to be suspended down from the ceiling of the atrium and within the light well of the Porte Cochere, creating a captivating and immersive, light filled experience.

It is hoped that the artwork connects people not only with the activities of the building — alluding to the entertainment housed within — and also with the nearby natural riverfront environment, which can be viewed at many key points from within and around the IRD.

Concept theme images of Crystal Cascade

Destination Artworks – Bloom, Pedestrian Bridge

Diagram of planned location of Bloom artwork

Located on the CBD side of the planned pedestrian bridge, this artwork proposes to capture a sense of Brisbane’s colourful flora drawing inspiration from blossoming Jacarandas, Bougainvilleas, flowering Flame Trees, and unique sub-tropical native plants.

In addition, Bloom will offer a strong visual linking device between South Bank and Queen’s Wharf, acting as a nod to the flowering Bougainvillea arbour.

The public art for Bloom plans to be integrated into the ground plane of the bridge with a potential focus at the IRD entry. The work will create a distinctive pedestrian experience as visitors arrive at the IRD or embark upon a journey of discovery across the Brisbane River.

The artwork will be highly integrated with the architectural design of the bridge and will be in the form of graphic hard wearing, semi-permanent ground plane treatments. Bloom will be bold in scale and highly graphic, exploring colour and pattern to offer an optical and/or eye catching feature for pedestrians.

Potential materials may include: concrete treatments, paving designs, industrial/road surface paint treatments.

Concept theme images of planned Bloom artwork

Destination Artworks – Urban Glade, Waterfront

Location of proposed Urban Glade public artwork

Activating the heart of the Queen’s Wharf’s riverfront public domain, Urban Glade inspires the creation of inviting sculptural pavilions designed to support gathering and events.

Urban Glade plans to create a sense of emerging through a lush subtropical canopy into an open, light-filled gathering space.

Urban Glade also aims to enhance the surrounding landscape design of the riverfront environment and create a connected experience along the riverfront beneath the REX and the pedestrian bridge.

The artwork plans to create an illusion of space and light beneath the REX and offer event-friendly, in-built infrastructure for lighting, sound and occasional seating.

Concept images of Urban Glade

Destination Artworks – Ebb and Flow, Waterfront

Location of proposed Ebb and Flow installation

The work will be specifically designed to encourage a closer interaction with the water’s edge and create a greater understanding of Brisbane River’s unique tidal environment.

The piece will create a playful relationship between the viewer and the natural environment, delivering an interplay between nature’s rhythms, whilst creating a sense of reveal and spectacle through the artwork’s kinetic characteristics.

The flood-proof artwork would be large-scale in nature and may involve either wind or water to draw people towards the river’s edge and enable people to engage with the river environment.

Concept example images of Ebb and Flow installation

Destination Artworks – Sky Veil, Treasury Building Atrium

Location of proposed Treasury Building atrium artworks

Celebrating Brisbane’s clear blue skies and starry nights, Sky Veil will be a highly integrated suspended artwork within the atrium of the repurposed Treasury building.

The work will create a sophisticated and welcoming atmosphere through the use of materials and forms that activate the space and respond to the site, encouraging visitors to spend time gathering and socialising in the space beneath.

The highly unique and site-specific work aims to captivate audiences, enliven the space and deliver a sensual interior sculptural feature.

Potential materials may include: crystal/glass, metal/wire/cable, lighting elements, reflective elements, fabrics.

Examples of proposed Treasury Building atrium artworks

Proposed Precinct Markers

Precinct Marker – George Street Entry into IRD

Location of George Street IRD Entry Artwork

At the intersection of George and Charlotte Street, a large scale sculpture is planned as a precinct marker to signal a major arrival gateway into the precinct.

The artwork aims to be a memorable piece which will welcome guests and also has the possibility of including interactive elements.

Concept theme images of George Street IRD entry artwork

Precinct Marker – Intersection of Queen’s Wharf Road and Queen Street

Location of Queen’s Wharf Road precinct marker

A large-scale sculpture is planned at the intersection of Queen’s Wharf Road and Queen Street. The artwork will be identifiable and memorable and would announce the arrival to the Queen’s Wharf precinct.

The sculpture may have interactive qualities and will be designed to complement the nearby river environment.

Concept images of Queen’s Wharf Road precinct marker

Precinct Marker – Mangrove Walkway & QUT

Location of proposed mangrove walkway gateway precinct marker

Located at the juncture of where the Mangrove Walkway meets an entry to QUT, a sculptural awning is proposed to be mounted onto the Mangrove Walkway structure.

The piece aims to incorporate lighting and/or reflective materials so that a gateway experience is achieved, encouraging pedestrians to look up and experience their surroundings.

The sculpture hopes to deliver a strong day / night presence incorporating bright colours, textures and patterns to distract from the overhead REX.

Example images of proposed mangrove walkway artwork

Proposed Discovery Artworks

Discovery Artworks – Undercurrent Village REX soffit

Precinct marker location for undercurrent village

A highly-graphic paint treatment is proposed in key areas underneath the Riverside Expressway (REX) near undercurrent Village which may incorporate lighting features.

The artwork proposes to enhance site activation by creating a vibrant energy and atmosphere as well as improving the visual amenity of the REX.

Concept images of artwork proposed for underneath the REX

Discovery Artworks – Undercurrent Village 

Location of Undercurrent Village discovery trail

Throughout Undercurrent Village, a trail of small-to-medium-scale sculptural works are planned to be stand-alone or interactive with urban elements such as seating.

The function of the artwork is to enrich the users experience by promoting social connections and play as well as exploration of stories from the site’s unique history.

Concept images of Undercurrent Village discovery trail

Discovery Artworks – Waterline Park Sports Area, Ground Treatment

Location of Waterline Park artwork

The location of this large-scale ground based graphic treatment is located in the Waterline Park sports area and includes the proposed basketball court and bouldering wall.

The ground graphic which has a playful and humorous theme would include text based paint treatments as well as sculptural seating elements throughout.

The artwork’s aim is to create a vibrant atmosphere which would capture attention from user-groups utilising the Waterline park’s recreational facilities.

Example images of Waterline Park artwork

Discovery Artworks – Waterline Park REX Undercroft

Location of Waterline REX undercroft

This highly visible graphic treatment is located on the undercroft of the REX and may incorporate lighting effects.

Bold in colour, pattern and visually dynamic, this piece promises to create a sophisticated street vibe and deliver a threshold experience for user groups entering the Waterline Park.

Additionally, the artwork aims to improve visual amenity of the REX and become a creative feature.

Example images of Waterline REX undercroft

Discovery Artworks – Goodwill Extension Discovery Trail Immersive Experience

Location of proposed discovery trail experience

This artwork plans to create a surreal, mysterious and intriguing trail of discovery experience located within the mangroves and water (via projection).

The piece aims inspire a contemplative and immersive experience through possible use of digital video projections as well as light and sound which would tell stories by a local poet or artist.

In particular the artwork would come to life at night, celebrating local ecology, history and stories.

Examples of discovery trail immersive experience

Discovery Artworks – Printery Courtyard Sculptural Commissions

Location of proposed printery courtyard artworks

Located inside the Printery Courtyard, a new art trail which explores site histories and stories will aim to create a dialogue between art, history and place through a series of contemporary commissions.

The medium-to-large-scale artworks will aim to re-frame the public’s view on significant local histories and stories.

Examples of proposed printery courtyard artworks

Discovery Artworks – Harris Terrace & the Mansions’ Courtyards

Location of proposed courtyard artworks

Located within the courtyards of the historical Harris Terrace and the Mansions, this proposed art trail will explore the site’s histories and stories.

A collection of small-to-medium-scale sculptural commissions aim to create dialogue between the site’s past and present through contemporary art and hopes to re-frame the public’s view of significant local histories and stories.

Examples of proposed courtyard artworks

Proposed Functional Artworks

Functional Artworks – The Landing, Water Play Feature

Location of water play sculpture

This large-scale interactive sculpture is proposed to be a water play feature with the intention of encouraging increased dwell time and relaxation for families and other user groups.

Example images of large-scale water play sculpture

Functional Artworks – Mangrove Walkway

Location of mangrove walkway functional artworks

Functional artwork will be positioned at three key locations along the Mangrove Walkway. The artwork features a Queensland design led suite of distinctive seating zones, with one zone incorporating an artist designed safety barrier, adjacent to planned seating elements.

The sculptural form artwork aims to create new meeting spots and resting spaces as well as being highly unique and site specific.

Examples of proposed mangrove walkway functional artworks

In addition to these permanent works of art, an art activation program is also proposed for three months of every year which would see temporary and semi-permanent installations spread across various locations throughout the precinct with possible alignment with major local events such as the Brisbane Festival.

According to the DA, the art program also proposes to build a unique collaborative relationship between Brisbane and New York through the Public Art Fund New York.

It is not yet known if plans for a night time Brisbane River water and light show which was originally mooted will feature as part of the artworks program.

The DA number for this development is 846.

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