Cbus Property's 443 Queen Street Makes A Towering Statement


Brisbane's rapidly changing cityscape will soon have a new addition with Cbus Property’s controversial $375 million tower, 443 Queen Street.

The 47-level tower, which was approved by Brisbane City Council in December, will be located next to the iconic Customs House.

Designed by Australian firm Architectus and Singapore-based WOHA Architects, 443 Queen Street will feature 246 apartments across two, slender clustered towers.

The apartments are designed so that two, three and even four external walls will afford cross ventilation and river and city views.

Apartments will be available in two, three and four bedroom designs.

There will be a communal recreation space with a pool, deck, gym, outdoor dining areas and landscaped areas.

The ground level of the tower will offer retail space, a restaurant and café.

A public plaza, café terrace, decks and reflecting pool will surround the base of the tower.

The podium section of the tower will feature materials like variegated sandstone to match nearby Customs House and hanging, gardens.

Breezeways and hanging gardens will punctuate the tower all the way up.

443 Queen Street will also deliver a new access point to the river alongside Customs House.

According to Cbus’s Public Domain Report, the design is “quintessentially Brisbane in character”, with “generous lush subtropical planting throughout”, shaded street level terraces, courts and gardens and natural ventilation.

Architectus’ Elizabeth Watson Brown told The Australian Financial Review:  “The Queenslander – elevated on stilts and open to natural ventilation – was an inspiration for the tower…a true realisation in contemporary architecture of the way we love to live in Brisbane.”

Public Reaction
443 Queen Street has already attracted controversy from parts of the community, who claim they were not consulted.

Brisbane City Council had deemed the Development Application to be Code Assessable, meaning it could be approved without public consultation.

The University of Queensland, which owns the adjacent Customs House, is taking the Brisbane City Council and Cbus Property to court over the approval.

When it is built, the high-rise development will be just metres away from Customs House - UQ is arguing that this will be too close and it should be at least 25 metres away. According to Council’s own City Centre Neighbourhood Plan, it states that any development at 443 Queen Street maintain “the heritage and aesthetic significance of Customs House” and not building within 25 metres of the site’s southern boundary.

UQ is also challenging Cbus Property's move to transfer development rights – including approval to develop next to a heritage site - from another building it owns, the National Australia Bank Building on Queen Street, to Customs House.

The Protect Customs House Precinct Group is also concerned about the preservation of The Petrie Bight heritage stonewall edging the site and a heritage-listed fig tree adjacent to Customs House.

Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk confirmed to the ABC in January that the fig tree would remain in its “current form”.

“The second thing is there is a heritage wall at the front of the application site – that will remain and is protected,” he said.

Cbus Property's Public Domain Report stated the “the stone walls of the lobby and core acknowledge the stone of Customs House and the heritage walls.”

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Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Adrian Pozzo last year told the AFR: "We think 443 Queen Street is a new generation of design for subtropical living."

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