design excellence in Brisbane CBD


building design to integrate an artistic imprint façade in Brisbane


office tower to achieve a 5.5 Star NABERS Energy Rating

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The challenge

One of Arcadis’ main challenges in helping deliver the large-scale urban planning development of Central Stationwas to reimagine the historical Sydney precinctas an innovative and contemporary transport interchange that would also function as a vibrant urban gateway,bringing new economic opportunities to the heart of the city. Drawing on Arcadis’ global expertise, a sustainable and innovative stakeholder-led approach to urban design of the precinct would allow the character and heritage of this inner-city landmark to be retained while creating an exciting new CBD destinationreinforcingSydney’s reputation as a truly global city.


    The limited nature of the chosen location for the building coupled with the constraints presented by the existing metro rail infrastructure, greatly reduced structural design options that were practical and financially viable. Arcadis needed to develop an office building design that met the sustainable and prestigious vision for the building as a landmark in Brisbane’s CBD that could be realised without considerable cost impacts.

The solution

Built over existing rail infrastructure with an off-set core, 180 Brisbane embodies Arcadis’ expertise in structural design reflected in the clever use of concrete-filled steel columns to support the building’s large open floor plans, the use of external sunshades to enhance the passive sustainable design features, and further placement of columns along Ann Street sloped to characterise a boat hull, offering a unique, grand entrance to the building. 


    A major design challenge for Arcadis was building over the live rail tunnel – measuring survey stations were implemented to provide real time feedback to the building contractor and engineering teams and facilitate communications with Queensland rail. Arcadis delivered tailored design options that seamlessly integrated into the architectural design of the building, where the careful placement of the steel columns allowed the natural flow of people through the public and commercial spaces on street level and below, without cluttering or overwhelming the structure. In response, Arcadis’ design sees tower columns supported by a large transfer truss constructed from concrete-filled steel tube members ensuring no loading to existing assets currently supporting the rail tunnel. 

    Critically Important to the commercial building design of 180 Brisbane was achieving an excellent sustainability rating. Each decision implemented by the Arcadis team was framed by a sustainable approach to the delivery of a masterful design vison for an environmentally sustainable and aesthetically dynamic commercial tower fully integrated with leading smart technology. In addition to using the external sunshades to further enhance the passive sustainable design features, the Arcadis team worked with the project architects to ensure they were used to create an iconic façade motif reflecting the curves of the adjacent Brisbane River. This was the first artistic imprint façade integrated into the design of a commercial building in Brisbane, giving 180 Brisbane its distinct and unique place among the existing skyline of Brisbane’s CBD and setting a high standard for commercial design thinking. 

The impact

The successful delivery of 180 Brisbane introduces a new environmental sustainability benchmark for commercial structures in Brisbane. By solving complex structural challenges to build the 34 – storey, 152-metre-tall commercial tower on a site constrained by existing underground rail infrastructure, 180 Brisbane seamlessly integrated commercial with public spaces, whilst not interrupting rail traffic throughout construction.


    The building design also achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia as well as an A-Grade Property Council of Australia rating, making it one of Brisbane’s ‘healthiest’ commercial towers for the thousands of people who work in the building each day.


    In 2016, 180 Brisbane was awarded the Master Builder’s Brisbane Division ‘Project of the Year’ award, the construction award for commercial projects over $5 million, and the major ‘Project of the Year’ award. The awards recognize projects that are at the forefront of building innovation and quality craftsmanship and that showcase excellence in the construction industry.

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