Sunland’s Futuristic Zaha Designed Development

5 Min Read
Artist's impression
Artist’s impression

A futuristic new three tower residential development is planned to rise from the old ABC Studios site in Toowong.

Sunland, the developer behind Abian and Q1 has engaged world renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid to design the trio tower complex which will be named Grace on Coronation.

The site includes a heritage building known as Middenbury Home, which will be retained in the future development which could become a restaurant, cafe or gallery.

The heights of the towers range from 22 to 25 storeys.

Artist’s impression

Sunland managing director Sahba Abedian said the proposed development would breathe new life into the historic riverfront site.

“Our vision is to create a vibrant urban village which sensitively activates its urban and riverfront context through compelling architecture and landscape design,” Mr Abedian said.

“Importantly, it is a vision that opens up the site to the broader community through the creation of expansive public parklands, a riverside viewing platform and the transformation of Middenbury into a meaningful public space.”

Mr Abedian said each of the three residential towers would feature a unique multi-layer facade design comprising a curtain wall glazing, overlayed with a quilted diamond pattern made from glass reinforced concrete.

“The result is an organic, sculptural design reminiscent of a flower in bloom,” he said.

“The smoothness and elegance of the design is unlike anything Brisbane — or Australia — has ever seen.”

Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, said: “The design tapers each structure to minimise their footprint and open the riverfront to the public to create a vibrant civic space for Toowong within a new riverside park.”

Artist’s impression
Artist’s impression

Building Mix Breakdown:

Tower A/B

  • 1 Bedrooms: 20
  • 2 Bedrooms: 66
  • 3 Bedrooms: 40
  • (126 total)

Total for tower A & B: 252 Apartments

Tower C

  • 1 Bedroom: 130
  • 2 Bedroom: 104

Total for tower C: 234

Design Statement:

Zaha Hadid Architects’ proposal for the subject site is a response to Sunland’s ambition to create an urban park within a site that is unique to the city of Brisbane. Its direct access to the river and the presence of a heritage building demand an approach which opens the ground plane without compromising the development of the site. 

The above considerations lead to the distribution of built programme in three towers, with a unique tapering feature at the ground interface to minimise tower footprints and to enhance visual permeability and pedestrian circulation.

Artist’s impressions

Access to the site is provided along Coronation Drive and Archer Street, with both points of entry directly leading to the basement car park to minimise vehicular flow within the site.

new pedestrian and bicycle link is provided off Coronation Drive, resolving the current narrow path along the main road, gently sloping through the new park. The site is conceived to offer different levels of experiences and amenities to residents and external visitors alike, also offering direct access to the riverfront for the general public.

The discretely located facilities dedicated to the towers and the dynamic extension to the heritage building will also benefit the greater community and enhance the site.

The highly distinctive architectural form of the towers is inspired by urban massing considerations and directly derived from internal layouts and visual access to the subject site’s unique views. These sculptural elements will establish a new local point of reference and identity, contributing to the legibility of Toowong as a district centre. 

Artist’s impressions
Artist’s impression

The DA number for this development is (A003953028).

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  • Very unique architecture. I like it. Something different for sure.I hope it goes ahead. Can’t find any pics of what it’s planned to look like on the inside.

  • Great stuff:
    – The white, reinforced concrete cladding is simply beautiful and just what a residential project like this in Brisbane needs.
    – I really like the focus on pedestrian usage, waterfront access, and maintaining public access to the site.
    – The restoration and preservation of the historic structure is commendable.

    Some typically-21st century ills:
    – The street frontage along Coronation Dr. is so ugly and plain, it turns this urban project into a suburban drive-through site. Activate and liven up the street!
    – I know this is just a rendering, but the amount of grass is so North American..Brisbanites want gardens to look at 😉
    – That old Queenslander looks sadly so out of place…I wish it was better integrated into the design

  • That slipway is going to cause a nightmare for cyclists and pedestrians – it will create conflict on the busiest bikeway in Brisbane with thousands of movements a day. There needs to be a better alternative than this.

  • Amazing building, creative and will improve Brissie slightly displeasing skyline. I agree with Gavin it needs to be cyclist proof. Also I agree with Q it’s BNE we need gardens and foliage instead of grass.

  • Magnificent! Exactly what Brisbane needs to show the world we are infact the most liveable city in the world. This is thinking outside the square in every respect – parklands, preserving the old house, inviting the community to wander through. What more could a city want?

  • This is beautifully unique. Please don’t share it by replication anywhere else. It certainly meets every criteria for a buzzing new icon in a lovely city in need of preserving what it already has but being ready to embrace something as stunning as this. Full marks to the capability of the architect. Please don’t let this one get away Campbell Newman and Graham Quirk.

  • This development while visually and aesthetically pleasing, has completely disregarded the very popular off road cycle and pedestrian route along Coronation Drive to Toowong. Location of the access from Coronation Drive into the basement is poorly conceived and completely cuts off the bicycle and pedestrian route. It would be far better if the architect provided direct underground access to the development without unnecessarily cutting off the cycle and pedestrian path.
    As currently conceived it does not align with the BCC strategy to improve cycle and pedestrian access from Toowong & University/St Lucia precincts to the city and should be opposed.

  • Love it!
    Great to see some creative and interesting proposals for our city. What a view they’ll have of the city.

  • What a privilege to have something in Brissie designed by such a world renowned architect. This is a very feminine building compared to some of the hard edge architecture Brisbane has been lumped with in the past. City Council, please approve this wonderful concept.

  • just when I thought 1 William St will be the ugliest ever. The concept is nice, but buildings are too tall for the concept and stand out unaesthetically as there are no tall building around. The ground bunkers are horrible too. It could be a Zaha Hadid – Brisbane budget style.

  • It’s taking some initial steps this wk, as partial Street Closures (Archer Street), Site Works + Construction Panels were erected earlier Thu 15th Aug 19. This leaves a different impact, in the current ‘Ekka Season’! Coupled with other longterm achievements in SEQ, things are leaping ahead.

  • Great development vision, Will the Towers have any Certified SDA/NDIS units for the disabled.
    If so, I would be very interested to market the NDIS component to our Funds managers and investors.
    Would be a great thing for disabled people who confined to wheelchairs and need a better lifestyle than living in overcrowded hospitals with aged care patients.

    Barry Rice

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