Eight Elements To Consider When Designing A ‘Building That Breathes’


Brisbane’s city centre is the thriving heart of Australia’s New World City. With a robust economy driving demand for 50 new towers in 20 years, Brisbane City Council has seized the unprecedented opportunity to shape the future look and feel of our city.

To compete in a competitive global market, cities need to take advantage of distinctive attributes and establish a unique identity. Embracing its desirable climate, Council has prepared the draft Buildings that Breathe Design Guide which provides a shared vision for achieving subtropical building design in Brisbane’s vibrant city centre.

New buildings in Brisbane’s city centre will embrace the subtropical climate by opening up to cooling breezes, providing lush landscaping, shade and comfort. Showcasing the highest standards of design and construction, these developments will contribute to an enviable and lush urban environment that attracts investment and tourism, celebrates our lifestyle and stimulates economic activity.

What is the draft Buildings that Breathe Design Guide?
The design guide is a user-friendly, multi-dimensional tool underpinned by eight important elements that are integral in achieving good subtropical building design. As a non-statutory guideline, it instils an overarching vision for new buildings and design framework that will drive architecture excellence.

The design guide also forms a companion document to Council’s City Centre Neighbourhood Plan (CCNP) by providing an inspirational design benchmark for architects, planners, developers, property professionals and the broader community. Illustrating best-practice examples and easy-to-understand design elements, practitioners will be encouraged to use the guide, which also includes a checklist, to assist them in the understanding and responding to the requirements of the CCNP.

Any new development in Brisbane’s city centre requires an Urban Context Report to demonstrate how the proposal achieves key performance outcomes of the CCNP. The intent behind the draft Buildings that Breathe checklist is that when preparing an Urban Context Report, practitioners should demonstrate how they have incorporated the eight design elements into their development proposal.

Eight key design elements
1. Orientate yourself “Orientating buildings to respond to our local climatic conditions can create comfortable, internal spaces while reducing our reliance on artificial energy sources. Important sub-elements to remember are location and orientation, massing and internal layout, views and street activation”.

Copyright Christopher Frederick Jones[/caption]2. Occupy outdoor spaces “Incorporating rooftop gardens, sky terraces, generous balconies and open air tenancies at ground level will ensure our buildings reflect our outdoor lifestyle. These spaces will provide a flexible and seamless transition between indoor and outdoor, public and private. Characterised by subtropical landscaping, these outdoor spaces will be visible from the street and will contribute to the city landscape. Important sub-elements to remember are city rooms, sky terraces, balconies, laneways and cross-block links.”

Copyright Christopher Frederick Jones[/caption]7. Identity matters “The creativity and materiality of our buildings will express our identity and ensure the city centre is culturally vibrant throughout the day and night. It is essential that our buildings are a reflection of our culture, climatic conditions and local character.” or call (07) 3403 8888.

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