The Teneriffe Woolstore, A German Cheese Factory And Kayaks


Brisbane in the past 20 years has seen a number of urban renewal projects which have transformed near city areas including Fortitude Valley’s James Street, the Gasworks area in Newstead and the redevelopment of the Teneriffe Woolstores.

Two of the major Teneriffe woolstore redevelopments included the Mactaggarts Woolstore and the London Woolstore Apartments critically retaining the original façades and with other strict heritage controls.

Now, one of the last remaining woolstore development opportunities in the precinct has been completed with the remaining redevelopment of the upper floor of heritage 1962 The Australian Estates Company woolstore building into nine multilevel luxury residences.

Arqus Design's Scott Peabody (left), architect for Macquarie Street Residences with developer Dan Williams of Ecco Properties.[/caption]The Macquarie Street Residences are the brain child of the developers Dan and Janet Williams of Ecco Developments. Architect Scott Peabody, principal of Arqus Design, was able to transform the Williams’ vision into the stunning seven two storey and two three storey luxury residences featuring commanding views across the Brisbane River and CBD skyline.

View the video file below for aerials and the property's vision from Dan Williams.

So how did the development of Macquarie Street Residences come about?Dan Williams takes up the tale. “We were kayaking along the river one day and looked up and saw a sign on the building that said ‘mortgagee in possession’, which immediately piqued our interest,” Williams said. “We didn’t know exactly what it was but went and had a look at it. It had then been leased as a studio by some computer game geeks.

“We thought it had great development potential, and we were able to be patient and after some negotiations eventually made a cash offer which the bank had to sit up and take notice of.

“Under the advice of our planner, ourselves and Scott thought we wouldn’t be able to take the roof off and were going forward as best as we could within the natural confines of the building as it stood. Janet and I about that time were in Germany in an old hotel outside of Stuttgart. It was an old dilapidated building about 400 years old, in fact it was an old cheese factory. We walked in the front of the building and it was like three stories of the Brisbane Hilton Hotel with an atrium running right down the middle with a glass roof over the top of the atrium. Now, you can’t have a glass roof in Brisbane with the heat and hail and such. Each hotel room had its own balcony looking out – it was an eyesore building outside, but it was stunning inside.

“We immediately said we just have to take the sawtooth roof off at Teneriffe. After a long process with council and jumping through various hoops and convincing the council planners and State heritage team, we were able to take the roof off. As a result, we now immediately had about 3000 m2 of extra floor space. We always believed it was a respectful renovation for the top of the building and one that was commercially viable. The property needed something special and spectacular to do it justice.”

The sawtooth roof at Australian Estates Woolstore building in Teneriffe before redevelopment.[/caption] External view prior to redevelopment of the upper floor for Macquarie Street Residences.[/caption]Clarke Constructions were appointed builder with works beginning with major demolition of the structural roof frame and asbestos removal. A new structural building frame was completed and new roofing system to the upper levels creating two additional levels to the building.

Architect Scott Peabody who has significant heritage architecture experience including at historic Yungaba House at Kangaroo Point and Winchcombe Carson Woolstore also in Teneriffe said, “To embrace and hold on to the woolstores and transform them into a residential concept has really opened up the Brisbane River again.

“You can’t build the volumes again that you can in the woolstores, with the heights and generous space... people have realised that this is a unique pocket in Brisbane with a strong heritage connection.

“The top floor of this woolstore had flown under the radar screen with no one realising it was there and available.

“Once the heritage issues were resolved, the logistical challenges included building over an established residential development with limited structural point loads, no access to existing building services and developing acoustic separation for the existing residents, during construction and occupation.

“The central corridor acts as a shared space for access to the nine residences, both pedestrian and vehicular. Contained within the envelope of a building, this comes with other complexities including a creative approach to achieving cross ventilation and fire engineering.

“The end result is remarkably simple in terms of having nine homes accessed from a central driveway with a vaulted ceiling spanning the void which all happen to sit inside a heritage building in the middle of the city, which is fascinating.

“It offers a different sort of product in the marketplace. It’s a once in a career opportunity because there’s no more woolstores.”

The grand shared vehicle and pedestrian access to Macquarie Street Residences is a vaulted shared central lane where each resident arrives at their own residence with an individual private courtyard.[/caption] View over the Brisbane River from one of the two three level residences.[/caption] Above and below - The apartments feature high ceilings and open spaces with chic fixtures and finishes and allow for interaction with external elements allowing for true Queensland-style living.[/caption]

Part of the river view from the second three level residence.[/caption] Upper level entertaining area from a three level luxury residence with sweeping views over the Brisbane CBD.[/caption] The Australian Estates Company woolstore building as it is today in Teneriffe following the completion of Macquarie Street Residences on the upper level.[/caption]

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