An innovative solution for inner-city professionals, St Paul Terrace will house apartments as well as offices, retail spaces and cafes.

Located in the bustling heart of Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, McNab’s latest development offers housing for young professionals seeking a shorter commute and easy access to the centre of the city. Sitting within an existing precinct, the development will offer retail, office and residential tenancies.

Gargantuan in size, the project is a 33 storey, two-tower, mixed-use development. Tower 1 is composed predominantly of office space whilst Tower 2 is residential, and comprises a mix of retail, hotel, short-term accommodation and residential properties. Between the two towers at ground-level, a large plaza space will be constructed, incorporating retail stores and running throughout the precinct. The development is a part of a larger precinct that houses restaurants and cafes, fostering an ‘after work drinks’ style social aspect.

Austral Precast’s innovative Panel Brick solution and standard precast panels have been used throughout to enhance the project both structurally and aesthetically. The reason for this materiality, according to Deen Suleman, Project Manager of McNab is to save time on the project’s construction, shaving time off the construction duration. With an estimated 9 months of constructing remaining, this exciting development will be able to launch in Autumn of 2022. As well as saving time on the project’s construction, the Panel Brick solution reduces waste on site from traditional bricklaying, with no sand, wasted mortar or broken bricks factored into their expenditure and materials. With an additional benefit of cost savings, when using panels, there is no need to hire and erect scaffolding, improving site safety as well as reducing expenses.

Matt Marto, Associate at Ellivo Architects described how the project’s materiality was carefully and meticulously considered, stating, “the building’s façade is simple in its expression and materiality – responding to its urban surrounds with a solid, brick façade that is articulated with large openings and off form concrete balconies. The brick skin shields residents from the harshness of the two street frontages; while providing an assertive architecture to the streetscape”. To ensure durability, longevity, structural integrity and aesthetic appeal, each material was carefully considered. Bowral Bricks were chosen as one of the predominant materials, to “reduce maintenance while balancing the functional requirements of its location and the aesthetic aspiration of the client”.

McNab used Austral Precast’s prefabricated brick panel system, Panel Brick, in which the brick facings are pre installed into precast panels, with entire brick walls simply craned into place for installation. With both a structural and an architectural benefit, this materiality ensures the development is in keeping with the surrounding environment whilst also being incredibly strong and hardwearing. Matt Martoo, stated, “ The combination of brick and concrete were meticulously co-ordinated and curated, in partnership with Austral Precast, Brickworks and McNab to create a timeless and robust architectural expression that embraces the benefits of pre-fab construction.”

A key element to this development was to ‘re-activate’ the heritage listed buildings that surround the project, with care taken to ensure that the detailing was preserved, and accentuated. This careful consideration, visible through the heritage feature detailing around the windows, offers a nod to the building’s rich history. In order to achieve the detailed window features, the brick facade was considered and designed to allow a “repeated rhythm of openings for windows and balconies”. These buildings are constructed in a brown brick using the Panel Brick system, to ensure both the new and older buildings complement one another.

This new multi-purpose development is an innovative solution to a contemporary challenge facing young professionals and the broader community, and will likely be one of many such developments to reinvigorate our inner city suburbs across the country.

“A key element to this development was to ‘re-activate’ the heritage listed buildings that surround the project. ”

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