Design for ABC Brisbane headquarters unveiled

January 6, 2010

Richard Kirk Architect’s ABC headquarters and landscaped Boardwalk designed by Arkhefield and Cardno S.P.L.A.T. to sit on Brisbane’s South Bank.

Concept designs for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) headquarters on Brisbane’s South Bank have been unveiled.

The television and radio facilities of the ABC will relocate to the corner of Grey and Russell Streets, between the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium of Music by early 2012. The facility will also be home to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO).

The four-storey building, designed by South Brisbane firm Richard Kirk Architect, will provide over 15,000sqm of floor space for up to 450 ABC staff and members of the QSO, and is due for completion in late 2011 – early 2012.

Key on-air studios for the ABC’s local and national radio networks will be visible from Russell Street and the Parklands. Richard Kirk’s design reflects the public institutions that will reside in the building, with open public spaces around the perimeter and transparency to and from the building out to the surrounding streets and parklands.

The Russell and Grey Street facades will feature external shading systems, creating a “modulated form whose appearance will vary when viewed from different vantage points around the site,” he explained.

Queensland premier Anna Bligh unveiled the designs for the new facility alongside designs for the South Bank Boardwalk site – an open public space that, she said, would deliver 70m of landscaped lawn along the riverfront, 1,800sqm of open space, a children’s playground and improved pedestrian and cyclist pathways.

The Boardwalk site has been designed by Brisbane architects Arkhefield and landscape architects Cardno S.P.L.A.T.

The ABC’s relocation to the South Bank site was an unpopular choice when it was announced in late 2008, with the Brisbane City Council objecting to the proposal, saying the loss of open space would also increase traffic on Grey Street, impact large, private bus areas on Russell Street and affect sewerage infrastructure in the area.

However, South Bank Corporation Chief Executive Malcolm Snow said the green space on the ABC site has been “underutilised”, with the new Boardwalk proposal offering a far superior open area along the riverbank.

“The Boardwalk project is expected to begin in February 2010 and we have significantly reduced the level of commercial development on the site to ensure that our visitors can enjoy new quality green space,” he said.

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