Best Tall Residential or Hotel Building Award of Excellence: Walan, Brisbane

Liam Proberts
Managing and Creative Director
bureau^proberts, Brisbane

Cam Ginardi
GBW Developments Pty Ltd., Brisbane

Designing Tall for a Sense of History and Ownership

Walan challenges the usual development pattern, exploring the whole-floor apartment typology. With balcony access on three sides, the residential units help residents forge strong connections to the outdoors, encouraging passive cooling and ventilation and maximizing sunlight and view opportunities. These relationships to climate and context ultimately provide a level of amenity that rivals those found in a detached dwelling and yet are commonly sought out in sub-tropical and warm weather cities like Brisbane. Walan allows individual residents to feel a strong sense of ownership over their whole-floor domain. Occupants are able to adjust the interior comfort of their living environment according to the path of the sun, the patterns of the seasons and the prevailing breezes. The contribution of planted garden boxes to each floor further extends a commitment to embed elements of a subtropical climate, characteristic landscape and breathtaking city views in the experience of the interior.

The design process involved, in addition to the conceptualization of the tower, a complete refurbishment of the culturally significant Heritage House that was retained on the site. Designed by one of the first emerging female architects in Queensland, Elina Mottram, both the historic apartment building as well as some original landscape was retained in common ownership to house communal and recreational facilities. The tower respectfully steps back at its lower levels to ensure there remains a clear connection between the original house and its adjacent streetscape.

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