State Government Unveils Queens Wharf Design Guidelines

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Drawing from Queens Wharf Design Guide

New design guidelines released today will help transform the public space surrounding the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane (QWB) development into an inviting, world-class destination, under the guidance of some of Australia’s best design experts.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning Jackie Trad said the Queen’s Wharf design guidelines and the Palaszczuk Government’s newly appointed ‘Urban Design Panel’ of planning and design experts would ensure the Queen’s Wharf project delivered new high-quality public realm for our city.

“The Queen’s Wharf Priority Development Area is a major project which will transform the south-western edge of Brisbane’s CBD, attracting significant investment to our city and creating up to 3,000 jobs during construction and 8,000 ongoing jobs post-construction,” Ms Trad said.

“We know the people of Brisbane love well designed and attractive places and spaces and with these guidelines, our new specialist Urban Design Panel will ensure we create more world-class public spaces in this premier site for residents and visitors to our city to enjoy.

“Brisbane’s first roads, wharves and infrastructure can all be traced back to Queen’s Wharf. In fact, this area is home to 11 Queensland Heritage sites and archaeological places listed of local heritage value, including the convict built Commissariat store – Queensland’s second oldest building – the Commandant’s Cottage and the site of the Bellevue Hotel.

“These guidelines will help ensure the new public spaces respect the Queen’s Wharf riverfront and rich heritage, while still maximising connectivity and appeal through appropriate design, entrances and landscaping.”

The design guideline embraces five themes:

  • ‘Distinct’ to maximise the advantage of our climate, creativity and heritage;
  • ‘Functional’ to drive great connectivity with the CBD and surrounds;
  • ‘Inviting’ to promote active and safe spaces and protect views;
  • ‘Integrate’ to ensure that QWB is very much a part of our city;
  • ‘Diverse’ to encourage active and versatile spaces like plazas and laneways, pedestrian and bicycle linkages, a riverside promenade as well as flexible large-scale event areas.

Ms Trad said the guidelines would be used by the Palaszczuk Government’s recently appointed Urban Design Panel to ensure quality design and to protect valuable heritage sites throughout the development assessment process.

“Destination Brisbane Consortium’s overarching design has been agreed to by the State, but it will still need to undergo a rigorous development assessment process,” Ms Trad said.

“The Queensland Government Architect, Malcolm Middleton, as chair of the Panel will oversee the design transformation of this under-utilised area while ensuring that heritage buildings and the riverfront are respected and enhanced.



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“The Panel will also investigate how people travel and move through the busy university and government precinct, examining the challenge of integrating the Riverside Expressway, Queensland’s busiest roadway, and transforming the area under it into a desired destination.”

Queensland Government Architect Malcolm Middleton said, “Being able to comment early in the life of a project significantly increases the potential to add value to projects and help deliver better built environments which generate economic value.”

“The panel will play an important role in lifting the standards of urban design and place making across Queensland.”

The new Queensland Urban Design and Places Panel is made up of 18 high-calibre practitioners from across Australia representing key design disciplines. Members will be selected to represent the panel to provide advice on significant projects across Queensland on a project by project basis.

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) on 28 November 2014 to facilitate the planning and delivery of an integrated resort development including a casino and other related development on the site. The PDA consists of approximately 26.8 hectares of land and water in the south-west corner of the Brisbane city centre including approximately one kilometre of Brisbane River frontage.

To view the ‘Priority Development Area Public Realm and Movement Network Planning and Design Guideline’ visit

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  • Lets just hope the Urban Design Panel actually have some teeth. It’s very easy for these massive sites with the one developer to get away with poor outcomes driven by a business and finance delivery model.

  • Agree. The ‘public space’ is going to be massively compromised by the Riverside expressway I’d they don’t put a lid on it. I suspect the developer has no injecting if doing that. The apartmemts will be sold oversees and problem gamblers will be in the bowels of the casino. That’s primarily what this is about..
    Great deal for the developer to get all that public land. They must be held responsible for capping the expressway.

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