14 Oct 2020

Glass tower over Brisbane CBD church back under planning cloud

A development application for a 36-storey glass plate tower approved to replace the existing Suncorp Plaza tower at 343 Albert Street has returned to Brisbane's planning court a second time.

In June last year, the Uniting Church won an appeal against Brisbane City Council and the Plaza's then-owner Turbit Nominees to significantly alter the base of the planned glass tower.

The court-approved alteration increased setbacks, widened a cantilevered space at the base of the 20,000 square metre tower and raised the "chamfered" triangular design to show off the church's spire.

Charter Hall, however, purchased the tower in 2019 and last week lodged a new court appeal requesting a "minor change" to the approved development application lodged by previous owners Morris Property Group.

Documents lodged with the court last week note that the alterations approved by the court last year were made "without accompanying structural documentation".

"Subsequent review has found the extent of the chamfer design places significant pressure on the structural efficiency of the tower," a report produced by Cox Architecture says.

"The other significant aspect of the design is that it is tied to the adjacent tower building. The service entry and three levels of the podium/basement for this project are existing floors that share structure and vehicle access with the neighbour."

The proposed alterations place greater emphasis on the heritage-listed church and its significance, setting back the tower's base footprint, scrapping the cantilevered triangular tower base and replacing them with an open courtyard supported by columns.

The report notes the proposed changes would significantly increase public space, greenery and the tower's overall connectivity to Turbot and Albert streets.

Instead of the single glass tower design originally approved, Charter Hall also plans to change the overall design to appear like two slimline towers, adding more balconies to higher levels and more green space around the church and tower.

A town planning report prepared by Urbis for Charter Hall notes the requested changes "retain the key aspects of the existing approval" and were made with the support of the Uniting Church and considered a "good outcome" by the council.

Suncorp Plaza was first built in the 1970s, and approved for demolition in 2018 to make way for a new tower at the prominent CBD location.

The Plaza tower was plagued with asbestos fears in recent years after a terminally ill man was awarded a payout for asbestos exposure in 2012.

SOURCE: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/glass-tower-over-brisbane-cbd-church-back-under-planning-cloud-20201006-p562ek.html

Share Socially