Refurbishment Proposed for Heritage Listed 308 Queen Street

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Artist's impression of the proposed entry modification to Creek Street

A development application has been submitted for the refurbishment of the heritage listed National Australia Bank Building at 308 Queen Street, Brisbane City.

The proposed works proposed by PWF atf 308 Queen Street Trust, involve some modifications to the Creek Street elevation to provide a new Creek Street entrance and improved visibility into the ground floor banking chamber for future tenancies.

Modifications include the partial demolition of an existing window to create the new building entrance from Creek Street.

Designed by Ellivo Architects, the development team met with Brisbane City Council in a few different pre-lodgement meetings.

The first two schemes put forward by the owner for the entryway demolition fronting Creek Street were rejected by Council, with the third being adopted for the development.

First scheme:

The level of impact is extensive which is considered to be a direct contravention to the Heritage register listing and therefore would not be supported in its current form. The concern of incremental creep and progressive layering until the heritage values are lost. – Brisbane City Council

First proposed Creek Street entry scheme

Second scheme:

“While it is acknowledged that the revised Creek Street perspective shows that the extent of
proposed demolition has been reduced significantly, a substantial amount of demolition to the building, both external and internal, is still proposed. The differences in floor level (street level to internal ground level) mean that any opening in the Creek Street façade would necessarily require some corresponding adjustment in the floor to allow the opening and entry to meet code requirements…

Given the heritage register entry speaks about ‘intactness’ on numerous occasions, any significant alteration to external and internal fabric would undermine this. As such, any demolition to the Queen and Creek Street facades, and resulting internal fabric, would not be supported.” – Brisbane City Council

Second proposed Creek Street entry scheme
Third proposed Creek Street entry scheme which has been adopted for the development application

Inside, the ground level of the building will be divided into new retail tenancies which would include shops, food and beverage dining areas.

The NAB Building was constructed in 1881-1885 as the head office of the Queensland National Bank, the largest of the local banks that were established in Queensland in the colonial period of the nineteenth century.

Image of 308 Queen Street, Brisbane City

The building was designed by the prolific nineteenth century Queensland architect, FDG Stanley, the former Colonial Architect of the Queensland government.

The building was designed and constructed as a three storey masonry structure with sandstone facings to the major elevations, and features many important internal and external features that still survive in the present day.

The NAB Building is considered one of the finest buildings of Stanley’s career, and of the wider 1880s period more generally, in the city of Brisbane. An extension to the rear of the original building was added in the 1920s.

Artist’s impression of proposed new glazing to windows openings

The building remained the head office of the Queensland National Bank until 1947, when this bank merged with the National Bank of Australasia Limited. The building became then became the National Australia Bank in the early 1980s, with further mergers and acquisitions.

The building and site were owned and occupied by the National Australia Bank until the mid-2000s, when they were sold for redevelopment.

The original building was retained, the 1920s extension was demolished and the low rise office tower at 88 Creek Street was constructed in its place. The ground floor banking
chamber of the NAB Building has remained in use as a branch of the National Australia Bank, while the upper floors of the building currently contain small office tenancies.

The bank has advised the current owners that it will be vacating the premises on the expiry of its current lease in mid-2019. New tenants and new tenancies will be sought by the current owners.

The development application number for this project is A005231411.

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