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Push to protect houses of the ’70s and ’80s: Two examples to prove why it’s important

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On Brisbane’s Teneriffe Hill is a small but smartly refurbished house that has lately gained focus by winning a commendation in the Queensland chapter architecture awards.

Designed by Rodney Chambers for his own occupation, the grey blockwork build with a split level floor plate took several years to complete. That happened in 1979.

Why Chambers House is of interest now is that it competed as a heritage project.

Heritage? 1979! That’s a smidge over 40 years old.

As Fiona Austin, one of Australia’s more vocal advocates for residential heritage, agrees, “a lot of people think heritage is only about Victorian and Federation buildings”.

But, says the founder of the bayside Melbourne Beaumaris Modern group – perpetually fighting to retain unprotected mid-century housing – “there is an increasing interest, particularly from younger people, in houses from the ’70s and ’80s”.

Given the state’s planning minister Richard Wynne has advised councils to update their often decades-out-of-date heritage overlays to give wonderful late-20th-century buildings a fighting chance in the battle against developer ambitions, she says “there is a growing awareness of listing the recent architecture”.

Austin believes the exemplar houses of these later eras merit protection because “they have bigger rooms, higher ceilings and lots of timber and exposed materials. You can just move in and live in them. Houses in Eltham, Warrandyte, and some in Black Rock fit the description”.

protect houses

Seccull House: Notable for its high boundary walls and courtyards. Photo: Supplied 

Yet, across Australia, only a smattering of the residences of this period is inscribed on council books as property valued for its architectural, aesthetic or cultural importance.

One that might soon come under more robust safeguards is the pure and beautiful 1972 Seccull House in Melbourne’s Brighton that sold in May for an undisclosed price. The home was society architect Guildford Bell’s personal favourite.

It already has a National Trust listing, but with the Heritage Council of Victoria’s executive now weighing in with a proposal that it deserves elevation to registration as a place of cultural significance to the state, it may gain the right to survive as intact as it is today.

protect houses

Guildford Bell considered the recently sold Seccull House as one of his best projects. Photo: Supplied 

The Brisbane City Council has had the more humble Chambers House listed as a local heritage place for about four years with a citation that considers how it was built with “a limited palette of inexpensive materials used in an honest way.

“Aesthetically, the house is notable for its mellow, sensitive architectural qualities”.

Shaun Lockyer was well aware of those virtues when he approached Chambers House with a commission to do a modest extension and some modifications to the layout.

protect houses

Appreciated for its rarity in the context of Brisbane, the house is a landmark on Teneriffe Hill. Photo: James Peeters 

It was a structure that had impressed him when he first arrived in Brisbane two decades ago “because it was not of timber and tin”. He admits it was an “exciting if anxious-making” undertaking.

“Clearly, it was a house of interest. It had a flat roof and this filagree of timbers on the outside. It’s a house that speaks of early modernists, and that is not seen in other parts of this city.

The architect who does many of the high-end, high-budget new house builds in Queensland says, “I’ve never been more nervous about touching a house than the Chambers House because I knew a lot of people were looking at it, and I wanted to do it justice. I wanted to best represent someone else’s work”.

The remodelling added 50 square metres of space. A storage room was made into another bedroom. Some of the former openings were filled in, and some aluminium windows were replaced with timber.

“We kept all the blockwork as it was. Basically, all of our insertions were done as cabinetry; as installation”.

Visually, the most obvious change that has made a phenomenal difference was the painting of the formerly mission brown timbers in black. “Newport black. Matt black”, says Lockyer, “as it leaves the texture.

As in the best of late 20th century houses, “the rules here were so clear. The spirit and logic of the house were so clear. We just needed to listen and have the house tell us what to do”.

While it didn’t get a heritage award this time, what Shaun Lockyer Architects did achieve in the eyes of the jury, has ensured “that a rare exemplar of modernism remains relevant.”

 

Article Source: www.domain.com.au

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Brisbane

Charter Hall leads the charge with $560m industrial deals

Charter Hall

Funds management and development juggernaut Charter Hall has swooped on $560 million worth of industrial properties as it builds its pipeline to service the explosive growth in the ecommerce, data and cold storage sectors.

Defying the pandemic-hit market conditions, it has acquired and settled 17 assets which have lucrative high-quality tenant covenants, with long lease terms ranging up to 16.9 years and located in large industrial precincts with proximity to major infrastructure and metropolitan areas.

Further boosting its $16 billion pipeline, Charter Hall has purchased a number of development sites that come with surplus land for expansion and development. The group has forecast the industrial portfolio will grow beyond $20 billion.

Charter Hall is an ASX-listed $7.75 billion diversified manager that specialises in assets with long leases across the traditional sectors of office, retail and industrial as well as fast-moving consumer foods, pubs, healthcare and childcare.

Charter Hall chief executive David Harrison said the acquisitions build on the group’s strong momentum in acquiring high-quality industrial assets in prime locations across Australia.

“We continue to lead the Australian market in deal volume, and our ability to secure high-quality assets off-market continues to deliver long-term value for the business and superior outcomes for our capital partners and investors,” Mr Harrison said.

Major tenant customers secured with the latest acquisitions include Australia Post, Toll, Border Express, Cleanaway, Zirconia (Iron Mountain) and state government agencies. One large site is the distribution centre in Lytton, Brisbane leased by Kmart.

Charter Hall industrial and logistics chief executive Richard Stacker said with a further $3 billion of investment capacity together with a captive development pipeline, “we would expect our $16 billion industrial portfolio to grow beyond $20 billion over coming years.”

The deals reflect how the country’s commercial property sales moved up a gear in the second quarter, with the industrial sector posting the strongest ever quarterly deal flow, the latest Australia Capital Trends report from Real Capital Analytics (RCA) shows.

Benjamin Martin-Henry, RCA’s head of analytics, Pacific, said quarterly sales of industrial stock outpaced offices and retail properties combined for only the second time since the start of 2020, having never achieved this feat in the previous two decades.

“This record was despite a relatively quiet first quarter for the industrial market. With a hefty deal pipeline of around $2 billion of industrial deals awaiting settlement, 2021 is highly likely to be a record-breaking year for the sector,” Mr Martin-Henry said.

Commercial property sales worth $13.4 billion were closed over the second quarter, up 15 per cent on the same period last year. For the first six months of 2021, volumes reached $21.2 billion, up 11 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

Together with the Charter Hall deals, Blackstone completed the sale of the Milestone Industrial Portfolio to GIC and ESR for $3.8 billion, while LOGOS, together with partners Australian Super, Ivanhoe Cambridge, TCorp and AXA IM Alts, bought Australia’s largest intermodal logistics facility – Moorebank Logistics Park (MLP) in Sydney – for $1.67 billion from Qube.

 

Article Source: www.brisbanetimes.com.au

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Brisbane

Bridge to 2032 – Brekky Ck span approved, missing link for Games athletes’ village

Brisbane is set to have another major infrastructure project underway by the end of the year after Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner lodged the final design of the Breakfast Creek green bridge with planning officers for approval.

The $67 million project is likely to provide a smoother connection for pedestrians and cyclists moving between the fast-growing riverside development at Northshore Hamilton and the CBD.

The 80-metre arch will cross Breakfast Creek to connect Newstead Park with the existing Lores Bonney riverwalk which was part of the now completed Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade.

“This is a crucial step towards securing the final approvals we need to commence work on the green bridge that will provide a $67 million investment in local industry, deliver a new active transport options and create 140 local construction jobs,” Schrinner said.

“The Lores Bonney Riverwalk is currently used 2300 times a day, and this new green bridge will improve safety and increase capacity to the riverwalk by creating a continues walking and cycling connection.”

He said the Breakfast Creek project would join the now-approved Kangaroo Point green bridge as fast-tracked investments to create jobs as the city headed out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brekky Ck

The council has also linked the project to the 2032 Olympics, saying it will be a “key connector” for the planned Athletes Village at Hamilton and provide a critical transport link for the Games.

Two other cross-river pedestrian and cycle links connecting Toowong to West End and St Lucia to West End remain on the council’s green bridge program books but are yet to be funded.

The council insists the remaining bridges need federal and state government funding to go ahead.

 

Article Source: inqld.com.au

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Brisbane

Green ‘Grand Central’: Cross River Rail unveils changes to parklands vision

Cross River

Developers of Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, appear to have bowed to public pressure and moved to preserve more public space in its redesign of the city’s Roma Street parklands precinct.

The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority has confirmed it will allow more public open space in a revised development plan for the area.

A new development scheme for the Roma St precinct, which will contain the state’s most most important transport interchange (dubbed Grand Central) as well as the proposed Brisbane Live arena, identifies new green areas and more affordable housing than was originally planned.

The Palaszczuk government has insisted that the development of an underground Roma St station as part of Cross River Rail is a chance to revitalise an under-used part of Brisbane into a major opportunity for private investment.

The government expects that over the next 15 years there will be nearly 4200 new residents and more than 19,700 new workers within the 32 hectare Roma Street priority development area, bounded roughly by Wickham Terrace, North Quay and College Rd.

However, the delivery authority came under fire for giving over part of the Roma St parklands which houses a public car park and Brisbane City Council maintenance depot to residential and commercial development.

The authority now says under the finalised development scheme the precinct would have more “publicly accessible open space”.

“The existing 11 hectares of publicly accessible open space within the Roma St Parklands will not only be protected forever, but will be expanded even further by more than two hectares,” the authority said in a statement.

“The development scheme also provides for new social and affordable housing as part of new residential buildings parallel to the rail corridor, adding to the existing apartment complexes along Parkland Boulevard.”

“This scheme is all about renewing one of Brisbane’s most underutilised inner-city locations while protecting and enhancing the beautiful natural features that already exist. ‘

About 46,000 people each weekday are expected to use the new high-capacity underground station at Roma Street by 2036.

 

Article Source: inqld.com.au

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