Ingenious Plan to Merge Two Buildings Into One in Brisbane CBD Unveiled

Midtown Centre, an ingeniously designed redevelopment in Brisbane’s CBD, is an ecologically sustainable project which will transform and repurpose a presently disused office complex into a contemporary workplace, by merging two buildings into one, in a bid to avoid demolishing them.

In what will be an Australian first, the former government office buildings located at 150 Mary Street and 155 Charlotte Street will be transformed into one tower through what architects call a full building join.

Fender Katsalidis was engaged by AM Brisbane CBD Investments to design the new, 26-storey structure.

“The project proposes the connection of the two separate but conjoined sites, to create an internal, publicly accessible cross-block link between Mary and Charlotte Streets, realising Brisbane City Council’s master plan vision for laneway and linkages of city blocks,” the project description from Fender Katsalidis reads.

Photo Credit: Fender Katsalidis

The 26-storey Midtown Centre will combine and enlarge the existing Health and Forestry House Building towers on a 3,670-square metre site fronting both Charlotte Street and Mary Street.

Keeping the heart of the building

The new building will have a podium which incorporates and revitalises the facade of the heritage-listed, late 19th -century Walter Reid Building, which was designed by Architect George Cowlishaw.

Photo Credit: Fender Katsalidis

An outdoor terrace with landscaping will top the podium. On the ground level, there will be a public laneway connecting Charlotte and Mary Streets.

Photo Credit: Fender Katsalidis

Above the six-storey podium, the existing Health and Forestry House towers will comprise the high-rise section. A “living, breathing, porous infill” will occupy the 20-metre gap between the buildings.

The tower will provide an estimated 1,800 sqm of continuous floor plates from Level 6 up to Level 20. Completing the building will be another six levels of commercial space.

Photo Credit: Fender Katsalidis

A glazed atrium surrounded by a double-height sky garden marks the transition between the existing structures and the six-storey vertical extension.

Photo Credit: Fender Katsalidis

The Charlotte Street footpath will be widened, in anticipation of heavier traffic once the building is complete. There will be cafes and retail outlets as part of the commercial mix in the precinct.

Hutchinson Builders is scheduled to complete the building by mid-2021.