Detailed information from the architects (arkhefield):
The new gateway to Brisbane is an active hub of cultural and social activity enhanced by large public spaces fl anked by mixed use buildings providing restaurants, markets, cinemas, function spaces, commercial spaces and residential apartments. The precinct was instigated by the creation of the new cruise liner terminal for Brisbane which weaves itself through the back-of-house of the development. The primary public function developed into being a central retail and restaurant hub supported by a range of residential apartment buildings. The precinct now operates independent of but supporting the cruise terminal function.
Portside is the redevelopment of a waterfront site adjacent to the Brisbane CBD. The site was previously a wharf for container shipping that had fallen dormant. In 2003, Arkhefi eld was awarded the project to redesign the site as the city’s cruise ship terminal. The terminal is supported by accompanying commercial, retail and residential areas within a master planned development.
The site is arranged around a central public plaza and street. This plaza links the surrounding suburb to the water as a diagonal slice through the site. The Cruise Terminal and accompanying retail, cinema and commercial spaces fl ank the eastern side of the plaza. The western side contains restaurants with a range of residential apartment buildings over. The project is staged with Stage 1 completed in 2006. At completion, the site will be an urban village housing over 1000 residents with all necessary amenities to support people’s lifestyles.
The existing wharves to the waterfront have been rejuvenated to create a 400m long promenade. This promenade becomes the berthing platform on cruise ship days, farewelling and welcoming over 4000 passengers within a daily turnaround. The cruise terminal is a challenging design problem, in that the building needs to cater for large numbers of people on a weekly basis, and lie dormant for times in between cruise ship arrivals. The design embedded the functioning of the cruise terminal within the retail fabric to maintain a fully active ground plane year round. The public plaza is designed to cater for both the daily retail and residential occupations as well as very large crowds on cruise ship days. This was achieved by maximising the area of the ground plane, while also creating smaller intimate spaces for people to gather during normal weekdays.