Brisbane’s vertical school and eco-friendly CBD building win top architecture awards


James Davidson Architects – now JDA Co – have been praised for their work in making the Princess Theatre, built in 1888, a thriving theater center in Brisbane.


The architectural judges recognized the historical research, repairs, extensive roofing work involved in the reconstruction.

“The work has minimized the impact on the original fabric of the building and has resulted in the revitalization of the theatre, benefiting both its conservation and the public.”

Fender Katsalidis Architects Won Brisbane City Council Category Buildings that breathe category for the innovative and complex merger of two aging office towers in Charlotte and Mary Streets to create Brisbane’s five-star hotel, Green Star Downtown.

The judges praised the work which saved around 11,000 tonnes of carbon emissions compared to demolishing the existing buildings and completing a total new structure.

“The development incorporates an existing local heritage building addressing Mary Street in a sensitive way and emphasizes the original heritage stonework and building plan,” the judges reported.

Brisbane CBD’s Midtown Center has been credited with saving 11,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.Credit:David Chatfield

“Duplicate concourses are provided at each civic address, one for the anchor tenant, Rio Tinto, on Charlotte Street, in addition to an alternate concourse on Mary Street.

“Renovating an existing building, as opposed to tearing it down and building it again, has contributed to a reduction in the cumulative impact in terms of carbon footprint which is equivalent to 11,000 tonnes of carbon savings.

“[That is] is equivalent to operating the fully occupied, carbon-neutral building for four years.

Other notable Brisbane designs recognized this weekend include KIRK Architects’ Timber Tower office building on Lomandra Drive at Brisbane Airport and Bligh Graham Architects’ new concept combining home and workspaces in the village of Samford.

The design work of JDA Co Architects at the recently restored Princess Theater in Woolloongabba has been recognized.

The design work of JDA Co Architects at the recently restored Princess Theater in Woolloongabba has been recognized.

The wooden tower won praise from the judges for the detailed wooden pre-fabrication work before being erected on site in a month in 2021 at the existing NIOA Combat Arms Commercial Site at Brisbane Airport.

The wood has been used in Queensland for a series of building projects in Brisbane and Maryborough.

“The innovative reliance on residential building techniques and materials gave the building a real warmth and familiarity, extending the use of wood to door frames, joinery and wall coverings.”

A comprehensive list of Brisbane architects recognized the weekend can be found here.


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