Central Plaza Annex

  • 2021

  • Architectural
    Architectual Design

Commissioned By:

ISPT Super Property

Designed In:


This redevelopment of the Kurokawa-designed 1988 Central Plaza Annex in Brisbane creates a new public dining laneway through the Annex building itself, along with a completely new street presence onto Eagle Lane (formerly a blank facade and loading dock) and a full refurbishment of the base building.

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Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
Image: Toby Scott
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  • Key to this redevelopment is the ambition to create a new public pedestrian connection, through the ground level of the Annex itself, between the broad, tree-lined main address of Queen Street and the small-scale service alley Eagle Lane to the rear of the site. In addition, the original building remains a classic of 1980's international office tower architecture. It was essential that any changes created a powerful dialogue with the original architecture. The interface between the towering Central Plaza main lobby and the new Annex lobby was to be opened out in a way that preserved the character of both.

  • A new material language of monolithic concrete entry portals and copper-clad forms was developed to respond to the marble, chrome and polished steel palette of the original tower. The concrete portals take different forms to address the different street frontages. Onto Queen Street, the form is very tall and slim creating a narrow but towering "front door". On Eagle Lane, the portal is broad with tiered steps and a projecting terrace included within its form, encouraging casual occupation onto the shared-use laneway. Huge pivot doors open between the vast Central Plaza lobby and the Annex atrium featuring spectacular copper stair.

  • Before this redevelopment project was undertaken, the entire existing Annex building was empty and closed off from the street with no presence whatsoever. After our design was completed, the Annex building has an entirely new life with busy street front food retail, a completely new presence onto Eagle Lane and an extremely popular internal laneway dining environment which connects seamlessly to the adjacent Central Plaza main lobby. Universal access has now been provided to every level of the building for the first time in its history.

  • A whole-of-site ground plane datum is established in off-white granite externally with fluted vertical surfaces emerging from the surrounding footpaths and creating a clear delineation between ground surface and built form. This reinforces the original architect Kurokawa's intention of Central Plaza being seen as a crystalline form emerging from the surrounding geology, and makes room for lush planting to the site's public perimeter. Researching the building's history revealed that it was originally intended to be the headquarters of American investment bank JPMorgan. Whilst that never eventuated, a gold bullion lift was installed between ground level and the basement in a back-of-house area that had been sealed over and forgotten about. That bullion lift has now been brought back to life to provide universal public access between the lobby and the basement (including accessible facilities). Naturally, to reflect its history, this lift is lined entirely in gold-finished stainless steel. A large copper-clad box form containing outdoor dining space terminates a narrow view corridor between towers fronting Eagle Street, and is also glimpsed in passing on Creek Street. In both instances, this copper box is intended to signal activity to passers by and encourage exploration of Eagle Lane and the Annex itself.