[BNE21]




Key Dates

28 January - Launch Deadline
18 March - Standard Deadline
29 April - Extended Deadline
10 June - Judging
24 June - Winners Announced
27 July - Awards Presentation

The Annex, 12 Creek Street [DRAFT]



 
Image Credit : Dexus

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Project Overview

Rising from the street level plaza to an exclusive rooftop Sky Terrace, The Annex at 12 Creek Street makes an ambitious and innovative architectural statement of biophilic design. The Annex aligns with Brisbane City Council’s (BCC) 2033 vision for a new world city and is the first completed proto-type of their ‘New World City Design Guide - Buildings that breathe’ strategy.

Bringing business connectivity and innovative design to a prime location in the heart of Brisbane’s Golden Triangle, 7,200 square metres of superior boutique office space and premium amenities include a vibrant dining and entertainment ground plane. With typical floor plates of 625sqm, The Annex is designed for innovative SME businesses seeking a core CBD presence in dedicated floors or flexible suites.

The building’s scale, form and detail promote a genuine connection to the outdoors. A side core configuration optimises natural light and stunning views to the Brisbane River and surrounding cityscape. Cascading gardens, operable façades, timber-clad and glazed inter-connected stairs link each level and a dramatic fig tree inspired soffit canopy combine to form a vibrant vertical village with alfresco meeting spaces on every level.

The Annex offers an exceptional workspace designed to create an engaging vertical workplace neighbourhood and enhance employee satisfaction and wellbeing. The design process was rigorous, commencing in 2012, to create an exceptional end-product with biophilic design and sustainable materials selection reflective of the best-in-class project team’s ethos and commitment to design excellence. Market acceptance and industry feedback in Brisbane and nationally has been outstanding.

Organisation

Dexus

Team

Developer/Owner: Dexus & DWPF
Lead architects & public realm strategy: BVN
Interior design (suites): Girvan Group and Bearspace
Builder: Broad Construction, a member of the CIMIC Group
Structural engineers: ADG
Services engineers: NDY
Cost Planners: Slattery
Planners: Urbis
Landscape architects: Lat27
Certifiers: Knisco
Leasing agents: CBRE
Façade and Lifting/vertical transport: ARUP
Acoustic consultant: ASK
Mechanical, Hydraulic, Environmental, Electrical & Lift Consultant: WSP
Independent Commissioning agent: AG Coombs

Shared vision
More than six years in planning, the development went through several rounds of design iteration to achieve the ambitious design vision. A strong partnership was formed with the architect, contractor and the consultant team, and a multi-disciplinary team of industry leading consultants, the team united around a clear vision and objective to deliver a remarkable commercial office development for the city of Brisbane.

Commencing development and design planning in 2012, construction commenced in June 2018 and completed in June 2020.
Our ambition was to create an exceptional end-product. Featuring the latest in biophilic design, workplace innovation, vibrant amenity and leading environmental and wellbeing initiatives, The Annex is reflective of our best-in-class project team’s ethos and commitment to sustainability and development excellence.

An example of how our cohesive team collaboration delivered results is in the environmental ratings. The building was originally targeting a 4-Star Green Star rating and a minimum 4.5-Star NABERS Energy rating, thanks to a shared commitment from the entire team, the development has successfully achieved a 5-Star Green Star rating and is on track to achieve a 5 Star NABERS Energy As Built rating.

“Using the Brisbane City Council’s Buildings that Breathe initiative as a catalyst, BVN is proud to have worked with Dexus, the extended design team and the contractor to innovate and develop an authentic subtropical commercial tower. BVN believes this landmark tower advances the possibilities and acceptability of genuinely healthy workplaces.

The creation of four distinct landscape settings throughout the tower and plaza gives building tenants various opportunities to experience Brisbane’s unique subtropical climate and landscape. These recognisable design elements also provide the community with multiple ‘identities’ to enjoy and view as part of everyday city life.

The formation of an emblematic and memorable covered outdoor room is enhanced by a key strategic move - the creation of ‘public’ terraces that invite the extended community to sit and reflect under the canopy of both the tower and figs, creating a significant civic space for Brisbane. The blurring of public and private, the permeability of the plaza, and connections through to the laneway all contribute to delivering highly activated spaces to the benefit of the community. Artwork by artist Robert Andrew, located at the prime corner, reflects the history of the site, giving the public an understanding of the formation of this part of the city from pre-colonial time to the present.”
Lucas Leo, Practice Director, BVN







Project Brief

The Annex is an innovative, vertical ‘village’ workspace development. Boutique in height and floor plate size, it packs a punch of innovative features and design. Its unique design connects to the site’s indigenous and colonial heritage and looks to the future with dynamic, flexible turnkey workspaces for businesses. This showcase of biophilic design is the first commercial development designed to BCC’s new 'Buildings That Breathe Design Guide'.

The Annex is a design synthesis of Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate, the site’s cultural context, and the development vision for an innovative, connected workplace. The building’s unique and innovative design prioritises occupant wellbeing. Abundant natural light, fresh airflow and green spaces provide tangible wellbeing benefits. The design connects the indoors to the outdoors through a series of cascading gardens, together with an operable façade.

The uppermost level forms an elegant crown to the building and acts as a beacon identifying it from near and far. The rooftop is made from scalloped perforated metal using an abstracted fig canopy motif that is continued throughout the façade. This striking design is lit at night and acts as an entry marker to the Golden Triangle.

The previously under-utilised vacant plaza site has been totally transformed adding new amenities, activation and beautification in the heart of the CBD. It has become the latest hot spot for alfresco dining, and welcomes the community in. It has restored the site’s historic use as a place to connect, gather and interact ‘undercover’ the contemporary soffit canopy.

Project Innovation/Need

This showcase of biophilic design is the first commercial development to be designed to BCC’s new guidelines and is highly responsive to the site context, heritage, tropical climate and outdoor lifestyle of Brisbane. Respecting the heritage and historic significance of the site was a key objective. Gifted to the people of Brisbane in 1889 by Queen Victoria, three fig trees were planted to provide a shady area for workers to rest amid the busy wharf trading area and still stand proudly today. The Annex re-establishes this highly activated public realm with tiered seating giving workers a place to pause under the feature soffit – itself an abstracted fig tree canopy. The public artwork, awarded to local Indigenous artist Robert Andrew, embraces the site’s Indigenous history, traditional use of the land, the river and the lush pre-colonial rainforest mangroves. The artwork incorporates cast concrete, cast bronze and steel that will weather and change over time, echoing the artist’s storytelling of erosion and exposition as a method to explore and uncover lost narratives.

The full building connectivity via glazed inter-connected stairs across multiple tenancies is unique in the Brisbane market and rare in Australia and ushers in a new era of connected working. The busy CBD site required innovative construction methods and detailed planning to deliver the project on time and on budget, while maintaining stakeholder satisfaction. New technology was deployed including a BROK robot (a robotic concrete munching machine) to speed-up works and deliver precision detail.

Design Challenge

As the first building delivered to BCC’s new ambitious design guide, combined with the development brief for design excellence, the design challenge was to create something truly unique setting a new benchmark for innovative design.
For example, the plaza ceiling feature soffit was several years in concept planning and prototype testing. 600 square metres of 4mm aluminium ceiling panels were installed with 700,000 miniature circles laser-cut with backlighting. The design inspiration reflects how natural light penetrates through gaps between the leaves when standing under the fig trees. BVN took a series of photos and transferred these to CAD to create this unique panel design. This is a truly unique experience that makes the building recognisable not just in Brisbane but around Australia. A further design challenge included the technical constraints associated with the operable façades to provide tenants with naturally ventilated workspaces, whilst maintaining PCA A-grade mechanical conditions, BCA smoke control and Section J façade requirements. Strategically locating the operable facade at the lower canopy levels maximises the rich experience of being ‘in’ the fig tree canopy while capitalising on its cool microclimate. Demolition was one of the most challenging aspects of this build in this busy CBD site. Effectively remaking the ground floor meant the top slab needed to be removed and all structural columns replaced to rebuild on top of the existing car park. Undertaking such noisy and disruptive works in a live environment required quieter and safer demolition methods and comprehensive communications to manage stakeholder expectations.

Sustainability

Sustainability performance
At Dexus, we consider sustainability to be an integral part of our business. We focus on maintaining and developing a high-quality property portfolio that contributes to economic prosperity and sustainable urban development across Australia’s key cities. In addition to treading lightly on the environment in terms of its design and materials selection. The Annex was designed to deliver best practice sustainability and resource efficiency, while achieving optimal user comfort. The design connects the outdoors to the indoors through a series of gardens cascading from the Sky Terrace, together with an operable façade enabling natural air flow. The provision of abundant natural light, fresh airflow and green spaces provide tangible wellbeing benefits.
The building was originally targeting a 4-Star Green Star rating and a minimum 4.5-Star NABERS Energy rating, thanks to a shared commitment from the entire team, the development has successfully achieved a 5-Star Green Star rating. Key initiatives contributing to the Green Star upgrade included contractors and subcontractors training to increase their knowledge of about the benefits of sustainable practices, and hiring local skilled labour to provide employment opportunities within the local community. Additionally, the project was awarded a point for public art integration and creating a building that contributes to the communities’ sense of place; enlightening and inspiring buildings occupants for generations to come. Operational performance was a key objective of the brief and through close collaboration with the builders and engineers, The Annex is currently performing to a 5.24 Stars NABERS Energy rating.




This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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