Located within the heart of Brisbane City at Southbank, River Quay is a 42 hectare river edge precinct which has transformed an underutilised and remnant Expo 88 boardwalk site into a truly world class public realm.
CUSP’s Director Stephen Pate worked with South Bank Corporation as lead consultant who worked in collaboration with Arkhefield to master plan and design the public realm of this prominent Brisbane site. The overall objective was to develop a new commercially viable and dynamic river edge destination with a unique Brisbane atmosphere.
River Quay is one of Southbank’s most successful and significant projects, creating a highly interactive waterfront precinct for the ten million people who visit each year to enjoy Brisbane’s climate, culture and lifestyle.
Southbank Corporation’s brief was to create an international quality river edge public realm that contributed to a sense of address for the parklands, provided new active edges whilst improving connectivity through the site as well as direct access to the Brisbane River.
Stephen envisioned a unified landscape strategy and design that harnessed the site’s strategic location and aspect while celebrating Brisbane’s subtropical climate the sites connection with adjacent spaces and the symbolic nature of the river movements.
Central to the design was the sweep of a pedestrian boulevard away from the river and in front of dining areas, setting up a series of gestures abstracting tidelines within the landscape plane. The pedestrian boulevard has enabled uncompromised views of the river and active frontages for its restaurants. Grassed embankments and terraces, with passive views over the river and the city skyline, have also been created to support a variety of social and cultural activities. A broad flat lawn was established to provide a place for informal recreation.
The design of the precinct has been highly successful in enabling Brisbane’s community to own the river as a public space, whilst balancing the cultural and environmental landscapes with the commercial needs of its retailers. The outcome provides a platform for successful longer-term social, environmental and economic sustainability for the Southbank Parklands.
Ian Don - SinppetsofTime.net (images 1, 2 and 6)
The Jetty South Bank (images 3-5)