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Year in review | 2016

Date: 15 December, 2016

Categories: In the field, Arkhefield Initiatives

2016 has seen Arkhefield continue to design great places and spaces that benefit all – from the client and consulting team through to the users, the consumers and the general community. We have chosen not to focus solely on the built form of the buildings themselves, but instead place great emphasis on the places and spaces around and between the buildings and structures we create. We have found this resonates with people and provides a destination, focus and existence to otherwise purely functional, and often lifeless spaces. We believe truly good architecture is all about creating the public realm, because people relate to a place, not just a building.

This year we have continued to work on projects of various scales across a broad range of sectors with the design philosophy of creating places for people at its core. We hope you can make the time to enjoy reviewing some our key projects from throughout the year and look forward to working with you again in 2017.

Construction is well underway at the Parklands development as part of the Commonwealth Games Village on the Gold Coast. Collaboratively designed and delivered by the AAA group of architects – Arkhefield + ARM + Archipelago – the development by Grocon will feature 18 apartment buildings, 11 townhouses and up to 30 retail tenancies across a 7 hectare site. Collaborating with these like-minded practices has enabled a multi-disciplinary approach and harnessed complementary skills to provide a singular vision for the project. We welcome working with other practices in a collaborative way, and continue to do so on a number of projects both large and small.

Also on the Gold Coast, a new Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club has been designed on an adjacent site. Residents and visitors to the area will begin to see the new building take shape early in the new year which will be complete in time for next summer.

Designing for tropical North Queensland

As a Queensland based practice, we like to embrace the outdoors and engage our buildings with the natural environment. Designing for the relaxed informality of a tropical climate like that in North Queensland has been one of our highlights this year. We have undertaken further work at the Cowboys Leagues Club in the centre of the city, including an extension to the facility as well as commercial space on level one. Some exciting ideas for a second facility in the outer suburbs has been a delight to work on, alongside concepts for the refurbishment of prominent retail precincts in the city.

20, 25 + 40 Storey Towers

We are excited to be working on 20, 25 and 40 storey towers in Brisbane’s CBD and inner urban ring suburbs. With the apartment market in a transitionary period in Brisbane, we have seen the rise of more diversified multi-residential developments throughout the city. Our work throughout the year has seen three student housing projects undertaken in the city centre. The newly completed Adelaide Street Student Housing saw the previous Boeing Commercial Tower repurposed into single, twin and five bedroom apartments within the building. The second of the student housing projects is currently under construction on Wharf Street. The 40 storey tower is due to be complete in time for the 2018 student year, with the Elizabeth Street 25 storey tower and arcade set to be the next out of the ground in the new year. Stage Two of Atria at Hamilton Reach is in the final phase of construction with new residents due to move in early next year. The development by Frasers Property encompasses a mixed model, featuring town homes and units within the same location. Construction on the 20 storey apartment tower on Jephson Street in Toowong has commenced and is due to be completed by 2018.

The changing face of retail

The changing nature of food retailing across the country has arisen from the need for centres to stay relevant and update their precincts. This approach has been seen across centres of varying scales – from the large inner city centre, to the suburban strip mall. We have recently completed the new food gallery at 480 Queen Street and Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal, and are in the process of redeveloping food courts at Queens Plaza, Pacific Fair and the Capalaba Shopping Centre. Concept designs have also been created for the stage two development of Whites Hill Shopping Centre which will focus on the addition of further food retailing.

Let’s fly away

Further to our work on the Brisbane Airport International Terminal last year, we were engaged on a number of projects at the Brisbane Domestic Terminal to refresh and update their facilities. These included upgrades to their food courts and retail outlets at the southern concourse, including an impressive skylight to filter natural light within the spaces. Concept plans were prepared for the upgrade of the Nauru International Airport to improve operational security, passenger movement flow, create additional office space and to address the current condition of the building.

Wining and dining

A variety of hospitality venues have been completed throughout Queensland and Melbourne, including Mr Paganini in South Bank, Aquitaine on the Gold Coast, Atalanta Bar + Greek at Hamilton, Mucho Mexicano in Milton and South Bank, Kennigo Social House at the Richmont Hotel in Spring Hill, and Junk restaurants in Brisbane and Melbourne. Collaborating with owners and operators to create a venue that reflects their brand values has been very rewarding.


Creating a home away from home

When looking at a building or a space, we like to interpret how people will experience it to ensure it is part of a cohesive whole. Continuing to work with the Mantra Group across their hotel brands including Mantra, Breakfree and Peppers has seen our team of interior designers work on facilities across 33 sites in almost every State across Australia and venture as far afield as Queenstown and Bali.

A new office for Ergon Energy + others

Ergon Energy’s stage one office redevelopment in Garbutt has been completed and now houses 470 staff over 7700m2. The project consolidated fragmented offices and has brought all workgroups together for a more cohesive whole. Hall Browns accountants required a new home in Spring Hill, while a redeveloped office space in North Quay with panoramic views of the city was completed for Altius. A second space for them in Sydney is currently in concept design phase and due to commence construction in the new year.

Homes from north to south

We have had the pleasure of designing individual homes for our clients from Cairns to Brisbane and Byron Bay this year. Whether it’s an extension to an existing home or a complete new build, we’ve found the process of realising our client’s vision and creating a home that meets their lifestyle needs very fulfilling. Hunters Hill House was also featured in the Grand Designs Australia Interiors Magazine.


Brisbane Festival, Arcadia, Site Design, Festival Design, Brisbane, Hospitality Design, Pop up design, interior design, architecture, brisbane


Last, but not least, Arkhefield worked with the Brisbane Festival team to create their Arcadia event space – a place which gave the community the opportunity to experience the festival and all it had to offer, without necessarily seeing a show, but being a part of the atmosphere of the event. The 9000m2 riverfront site outside QPAC at Brisbane’s South Bank was planned around two large spiegeltents and housed a variety of food and beverage hospitality locations and all of the facilities to support such a large venture.


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