Queensland Projects and Sites
Gardens Point Study - Queensland University of Technology (Formerly QIT)
January to December 1984
Research and Studies AILA National
example of a co-operative design team’s work to achieve a solution
for a significant public open space in central Brisbane. The text
is relevant and beautifully illustrated with appropriate graphics.
It is supported with studies and data which deal effectively with
the planning and design issues inherent in the site planning. The
master plan proposals are illustrated with a series of drawings which
expose the design, intent philosophy and step by step develop the
design options into the master plan stage. The presentation of the
report achieved a high standard in both content and graphics
TO THE STUDY
Point is a key riverfront Brisbane peninsula, adjacent to the central
business district and including the City Botanic Gardens, Parliament
House, Old Government House, the Queensland Institute of Technology
and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. The area contains elements
of great historical and horticultural value and features relating directly
to the foundation of the city.
Gardens were established in 1828 and since then have been a major recreational
site for Brisbane people and have come to be regarded as a city landmark.
The Gardens have experienced a changing function with the establishment
of the Mt. Coottha Botanic Gardens, and now serve dual, and sometimes
conflicting purposes of being a haven of peace and tranquillity, andat
the same time a venue for major concerts and entertainment. The Gardens
also are being increasingly isolated from the city centre because of
the traffic demands on Alice Street as a major freeway feeder.
population of 10,000 students and staff will continue to grow, bringing
problems of insufficient accommodation and parking, as well as adding
to traffic flow difficulties in the area. In addition, it is apparent
that the settings for Old Government House and Parliament House inadequately
reflect the status of two of Brisbane’s most historic buildings.
recognition of these problems, the Brisbane City Council and the QIT
set up a working party using QIT expertise, to conduct a detailed study
of the area, with particular emphasis on:
needs and attitudes
• the particular requirements of the major institutions
in the area
• preservation of the historical and horticultural
aspects of Gardens Point
• traffic flow and pedestrian accessibility,and
• accommodation of all of the Gardens’
Lord Mayor, Alderman Sallyanne Atkinson, launched the development proposal
to promote public discussion and to gain feedback on whether the proposal
satisfies the community. The study was carried out from January to December
1984 and drew on the resources of QIT’s Planning and Landscape
Architecture, Surveying, Biology, Civil Engineering and Management Departments.
proposed strategy addresses the problems identified and aims to maximise
the potential use of the area by the people of Brisbane and nearby institutions.
The strategy includes major elements affecting the Gardens themselves,
access to Gardens Point and its institutions, and other aspects.
Gardens Lake: The natural depression in the centre of the Gardens
accommodated a lake until 1937 and it is proposed to re-establish the
lake in an extended form as a focus and theme to the Gardens.
Pavilion: A striking landmark adjacent to the lake and visible
from the city centre, to house facilities such as a kiosk, information
boards and pamphlets, public amenities and a small boat hire operation
for rowing on the lake.
Shell: Proposed on the site of the B.C.C. service nursery, where
the spur to the east forms a natural sound buffer to the central Gardens
area. The space would serve as the major FREEPS venue and as an informal
recreation area for students of the QIT and the Conservatorium, while
the rest of the Gardens would remain relatively peaceful.
Common: A barbecue/picnic area for students and FREEPS patrons,
adjacent to the amphitheatre.
The Parliament House Vista: This would provide a grassed vista between
Parliament House and the Gardens and a traditional landscape foreground
more appropriate to the history of the building.
Facilities Building: A domain to house facilities for the international
yacht marina located near the Edward/Alice Street corner of the Gardens,
including small boat tie-up, restricted vehicular access to Edward Street,
laundromat, toilets, change rooms and a small kiosk with viewing area.
Riverside Walk: The riverside is proposed as a major city promenade,
extending from the Yacht Facilities Building along the river to the
common. The walk would feature offshoot walks through mangrove and rainforest
areas, with boards explaining their natural history.
Promenade: A walk featuring historical Bunya Pines planted in 1858
in honour of colonial botanist, James Bidwill.
The Hill: The area of the existing Curator’s cottage provides
one of the most dramatic outlooks over the Gardens, river and city.
It is proposed to remove all structures from the hill, to establish
it as a public lookout area and a link between the Gardens and the Point.
AND OTHER ASPECTS
City Gardens Entrance: The major entrance to the Gardens, incorporating
a pedestrian boulevard along Albert Street to Queen Street, with bus
bays, directive signs etc. This would provide the Gardens with a major
entrance and facilitate pedestrian access from the city centre to the
Forecourt, Parliament House: Located off George Street, with reduced
access to QIT and restricted parking provision.
Major QIT Entrance: Located off Gardens Point Road, with provision
for an information point, bus bay and turning area to link with the
Domain ferry, pickup/drop-off areas and short-term parking for a limited
number of vehicles.
Place: A bus loop to the peninsula from the city centre is envisaged,
linking with the Domain ferry.
Access Spine: A pedestrian street providing access from carparks
and bus and ferry interchanges to the Gardens, via the QIT grounds and
beside Old Government House.
Buildings with Carparking: The strip of land between QIT and the
Expressway would accommodate three aesthetic new QIT buildings with
landscaped settings, to considerably improve the appearance of this
area as seen from the Riverside Expressway and the South Bank of the
River. Current open carparking on Gardens land would be accommodated
on levels beneath the buildings. This parking would be available to
the public on weekends.
proposed development strategy provides a number of improvements for
the Gardens Point Area. It serves to:
- maximise potential use of the entire area by
Brisbane people and the students and staff of QIT and the Conservatorium
- recognise, retain and appropriately treat the
historic elements of the Gardens and related buildings, including Parliament
House and Old Government House
- emphasize the natural and man-made features
and attractions of the peninsula and nearby riverbank
- provide a variety of facilities and venues
for activities, accessible to all age groups and sections of the community,
including weekend parking, and also an increase in the area of Gardens
land for public use
- retain the traditional function of the peninsula
as a green foreground to the city centre for views from the south, east
and west and present an aesthetic river aspect of QIT, which fronts
a major city gateway and the cultural South Bank
- improve access to Gardens Point by public and
private transport and clearly identify separate institutions and areas
of use, and
- accommodate QIT growth beyond the year 2000
in a way which is compatible with its setting.
Dr RD. Gibson,
Director, QIT (Chairman)
Ms C. Bull, Senior Lecturer, Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture,
Mr P. Heywood, Head, Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture,
Mr C.F.Sharp, Manager, Department of Health and Community Services, BCC
Mr J. Wood, Director, Property Management, BCC
Ms C. Bull, Senior Lecturer, Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture,
QIT (Project Co-ordinator)
Mr J. Bedford, Research Assistant, Department of Planning and Landscape
Project work by post-graduate students of QIT also contributed to the
entire content and results of this study are now held at the Library
of the Queensland Institute of Technology and are available for public
reference. They include physical condition surveys, user and resident
surveys, reports, references, data and background drawings used in the
preparation of the report.
collected in the multi-disciplinary study provided a basis for the planning
and design stage carried out under the direction of Ms Catherin Bull*
in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at QIT, which
resulted in the development proposal.
*Catherin Bull was a senior lecturer
in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at QIT.
has been a consultant for major developments in Sydney, Melbourne and
South East Asia.