Best Tall Building under 100 meters Award of Excellence: Walan, Brisbane

Liam Proberts
Managing and Creative Director
bureau^proberts, Brisbane

Cam Ginardi
GBW Developments Pty Ltd., Brisbane

Colorful Cliffs Ground Sub-Tropical Residences

Walan is very much a product of its site and urban surroundings, designed to command a place on the Brisbane River edge and create a strong visual marker in the Brisbane cityscape. The building’s ochre-colored skin, stepped floor plates, faceted concrete balustrades and elevated gardens are all elements whose genesis can be traced to the nearby rocky outcrop of Kangaroo Point. The connection to place is multi-layered as the tower form folds to preserve and promote the historic Elina Mottram designed flats, an illustration of living on the peninsula in the early 20th century. The homes on each floor are open to their aspect and protected by screens that provide privacy and shade. The screens are a manifestation of the louvres of the traditional Queenslander, articulated and colored into an organic fabric that reflects the adjacent rock faces. This colorful cloak creates an ambiguous and sculptural presence on this important Brisbane peninsula.

Drawing inspiration from the characterful, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, in particular its form and color, it finds the opportunities of a sub-tropical climate to leverage natural light and ventilation opportunities so residents can minimize a reliance on artificial cooling, heating, and lighting. Exploring the whole-floor apartment typology, Walan demonstrates the ways passive design principles and bespoke detailing can improve the thermal performance and visual legibility of the contemporary residential tower.

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