In a first of its kind, in Australia, two adjacent buildings in Brisbane’s CBD will be merged to become one tower. The project, the Midtown Centre development, will merge together two former government office buildings at 155 Charlotte Street and 150 Mary Street. The project, undertaken by Fender Katsalidis Architects, is environmentally sustainable as it avoids demolition with materials being reused and retained.
Fender Katsalidis was engaged by AM Brisbane CBD Investments to design the Midtown Precinct, a transformation of two existing 20-storey office buildings in central Brisbane into a single commercial tower. The 26-storey Midtown Centre will join and enlarge the existing towers of the Health and Forestry House Building on a 3,670-sq.m site that fronts both Charlotte and Mary Streets. Unlike usual skywalks connecting buildings, a specialised infill and plate system will connect them
The project proposes the connection of the two separate but conjoined sites, to create an internal, publicly accessible cross-block link between Mary and Charlotte Streets, realising Brisbane City Council’s master plan vision for laneway and linkages of city blocks. “Our proposal also revitalises the facade of the heritage-listed Walter Reid Building, which was designed by architect George Cowlishaw and built in 1883. This will be complimented by a widening of the Charlotte Street footpath. The streetscape designs will be of high quality and highly permeable, with cafe/retail outlets further activating the public realm,” says Fender Katsalidis Architects.
The new building will comprise a six storey podium including the Walter Reid Building façade, with a public laneway that will connect Charlotte and Mary streets at ground level. A landscaped outdoor terrace will top the podium, which addresses the surrounding heritage places and presents a fresh identity to the street.
Above the podium will sit a highrise section, comprising the existing Health and Forestry House towers, connected by a living, breathing, porous infill. The tower will provide continuous floor plates of approx. 1,800-sq.m from Level 6 up to Level 20. Another six levels of commercial space will complete the building. A total of 45,000 lettable area is planned.