A Fresh Take on The West End Towers

A breath of fresh air is sweeping through the West End Towers. The city has given the nod to two residential towers, each featuring three concave facades enveloped in ‘green’ exoskeletons, for a site adjacent to Davies Park at 281-297 Montague Road.

This new development replaces a previous scheme, which was approved in 2017. The original plan, described as “five stumpy towers” of up to 12 storeys, has been reimagined by Manley Properties, a subsidiary of Sydney-based developer Henroth Group. The revised proposal aims to create an “exemplar response to key urban design” and enhance community benefit.

The new design by Noel Robinson Architects reduces the initially planned 470-apartment development to two towers of 16 and 19 storeys, housing 345 apartments. This revision allows the site to offer a vastly improved public realm, enhanced visual amenity, and better connectivity for West End residents.

Despite significant community opposition to both proposals, primarily concerning the buildings’ height and additional traffic, principal architect Noel Robinson believes the original vision would have resulted in “a terrible outcome”. The new plans open up 77% of the site’s ground plane as public space, a 73% increase from the previous approval.

Photo Credit: Development.i / Application no. A005608649

The proposed public plaza and park lands provide a sky view from Montague Road and Vulture Street, offering shade and relief from summer heat for various recreational activities. The revised plans will deliver two 5-star Green Star rated residential buildings, both with unique landscaped exoskeletal sunshades wrapping their concave facades.

View from Vulture Street
Photo Credit: Development.i / Application no. A005608649

Robinson stated that the revised tower designs “open up a new paradigm in terms of a green building”. The buildings feature green atria throughout, replacing traditional corridors. Biophilia filters at the ends of the open landscaped corridors provide vertical greenery up the facades, acting as fresh air filters to the open upper-level apartment walkways.

South Tower – East Wing Elevation
Photo Credit: Development.i / Application no. A005608649

While Robinson stopped short of claiming these would be the greenest buildings in Brisbane, he did assert they would be unique and among the city’s greenest. The development’s north tower will comprise 156 apartments, and its south tower will house 189 apartments, each including a mix of one, two, three bedrooms, and a level of four-bedroom penthouse suites.

The residents of both towers will have access to a variety of amenities. Landscaped rooftop recreation decks will feature ‘wet edge’ swimming pools, communal gardens, edible landscapes, beehives, barbecue facilities, gyms, and both indoor and outdoor dining areas.

An alfresco terrace on the first level of each building has been designed as an outdoor study and work area. It will feature enclosed glass pods, providing residents with private spaces for podcasts or online meetings.

The development also takes into account the need for parking, with two basement levels providing 482 spaces. This is a reduction of 117 spaces from the previous approval, aligning with the overall design rethink.

On the ground level, a retail plaza spanning 1626 square meters will be a key feature. In line with the design’s focus on public space, 8130 square meters of public realm will connect Montague Road to the centre of Davies Park. This connection is a crucial element of the overall design rethink, further enhancing the community-centric approach of the development.

Published 08-February-2024

West End Locals Establish Shared Vision for the Montague Road Project

Photo Credit: Google Maps

A group of West End locals is spearheading the Montague Road Project, with several project ideas being discussed that reflect the community’s shared vision, in line with a citywide improvement plan ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. 

Following the release of the 2019 South Brisbane Transport and Mobility Study, $1 million has been earmarked for the upgrade of Montague Road. In line with this, groups like Kurilpa Futures and the Queensland Ballet formed the Montague Road Project, an initiative to ensure that there will be a community consensus on the best ways to make use of the funding. 

In September 2022, the Montague Road Project conducted a community survey and received more than 750 responses, which was followed by a community forum attended by more than 60 residents and business owners in West End. 

The group is initially proposing to improve Montague Road into the Kurilpa Boulevard “green road” with green side streets and “food forests” connecting to the riverside parklands. The group also wants visible recognition of First Nations culture, and potentially opening a new First Nations Cultural Centre.  

Montague Road must be made into a “climate resilient destination” that will allow Brisbane to achieve 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030. 

“The 2032 Olympics would enable us to showcase to the world Australian expertise and our three levels of governments’ commitment to climate change adaption,” the group stated. 

Montague Road Project
Photo Credit:  Montague4101/Facebook

The Montague Road Project continues to conduct meetings with different communities to document more data that will help bring the vision to the next stage. 

“We invite all people who live, work or visit the Montague Road area including local businesses, community and sport organisations and special interest groups in the broader community to participate,” the group said.

“We hope everyone will get involved and especially people living in apartments along the river as well as those living on the other side along the length of Montague Road up to Hardgrave Road and northwards from there.” 

To learn more about this initiative follow the Facebook page or visit the official site.  

Revised Design Concept for Proposed West End Residential Towers Lodged

A new plaza and amphitheatre with an active retail frontage have been added to the design of the proposed West End residential towers on Montague Road.  

Henroth Investments Pty Ltd’s proposed development will sit on a block of land located at  281-297 Montague Road. The amended design will also connect Montague Road to the centre of Davies Park, Souths Leagues Club and beyond to the Brisbane River.

The new application refers to the revised design concept of a previously approved proposal for 434 apartments across five buildings of up to 12 storeys in height plus 88sqm of retail space and 602 car parking spaces in four basements.

ground floor ampitheatre
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au

According to the submitted document, the revised design incorporates a “rethink” of the originally proposed plans, particularly the open space and ground opportunities that the development could bring to the community.

proposed West End residential towers on Montague Road
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au

Under the revised plan, there will be two new 5-star Green Star-rated residential towers with the building height from 26 (northern towers) and 25 storeys (southern towers) to 18 (north tower) and 16 (south tower) residential levels above the activated ground plane. There will be basement parking, rooftop plant and recreation space to be situated above the towers.

roof terraces on West End residential towers
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au
rooftop terrace on south tower
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au

The twin towers will contain a total of 349 apartment units or a reduction of 85 apartments whilst the number of car parking spaces will be reduced by 120 to 482 across two basements. Both towers will be provided with communal green space, edible landscape, beehives, swimming pools, BBQ, a gym, a dining area and a wine cellar.

West End residential towers
proposed West End residential towers on Montague Road
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au

Moreover, the buildings’ facade will feature a unique curved landscaped exoskeletal sunshade around them whilst the orientation maximizes the park, river and city views.

The proposed development at a glance:

  • Site Area = 10,626sqm
  • Deep Planting = 1,094sqm
  • Site Cover = 3,902sqm
  • Car Parking = 482
  • Apartment  Units = 349 (183 – North Tower, 166 – South Tower)

Land Purchased for ‘South Bank 2.0’ in Montague Road, West End

Plans to turn a glass manufacturing site on Montague Road in West End into “South Bank 2.0” have inched a step closer to fruition after the acquisition of the property for $165 million.

The precinct has been envisioned as an inner city multi-use parkland that will also house the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in time for the 2023 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympic Games.  

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the West End site “will be the global nerve centre of the 2032 Games.” The 9-hectare property will then be added as a permanent asset for Brisbane, thus creating the future for a world-class parkland similar to South Bank. 

Initially, a temporary venue will be constructed for IBC. After the games, the building will then be removed and then converted into parklands. The state government will be closely working with Council in the site’s transformation. 

Ms. Palaszczuk said South Bank 2.0 would be a mixed-use facility with heaps of green spaces and restaurants. The governments have more than a decade to develop the revitalisation and a masterplan is yet to be prepared. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

“The mayors of South East Queensland began the journey to pursue these Games because they realised the incredible legacy this would create for Brisbane and the rest of the region,” Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said

“This new area on the banks of the Brisbane River is precisely the type of legacy they envisaged, great new assets that would benefit all residents and make our wonderful city even better.

“For a decade and more, people have talked about South Bank being extended along this part of our river and I am so pleased we’re now moving forward to make those dreams become a reality.”

Meanwhile, Visy, the current occupant, will move its operations to a new site in Stapylton. The company will also build its cardboard box factory in Hemmant. Both businesses will bring in 600 new jobs for Queenslanders. 

Parched? Check out Parched, the Newest Craft Brewery in West End

If you’re parched and in the West End area, check out Parched, Brisbane’s newest craft brewery!

Up for sharing cold beers during these hot summer nights, nibbling on some finger-licking bar bites when you’re feeling peckish, and reconnecting with friends you haven’t seen for some time?

Former mining engineer Carl Hallion is the brains behind Parched. Carl has long harboured dreams of running a bar where guests could chit-chat and reconnect over a few pints of beer, from the time he began brewing beer as a young adult in Adelaide.

It took a couple of years for Carl to hatch plans for Parched with his wife Pauline. Sometime in 2020, the couple found the right spot tucked along a laneway on Montague Road. Despite some hitches and amidst the havoc COVID wrought on the hospitality and construction industries, and their supply chain, they kept the faith.

Everything came together eventually, and Parched finally opened in mid-December 2021. 

Parched interior
Photo Credit: Parched/Facebook

Parched is slightly bigger than Carl’s original ideas for a bar but the building had plenty of space for communal dining, the bar and taproom, the kitchen, the actual brewery, and the warehouse at the back.

Divided into two levels, Base Architecture designed Parched with a seating capacity for 200 people. Sometime this year, the deck should be built to accommodate more guests. 

At the brewery section of the venue are two tanks that can make 2,000 litres a day. From the brewery, it’s straight to the 16-tap bar which stands out in the room because of its green tiling. 

Drinks at Parched
Photo Credit: Parched/Facebook

Parched’s initial offering includes eight kinds of beer concocted by Carl himself: 

  • Brave New World hazy IPA
  • Creaming Soda vanilla-milkshake IPA 
  • Mi Amigo Pagara Mexican lager
  • Smiling Eyes Irish red ale 
  • Sunset Sour wild pomegranate kettle sour
  • The Pilot mid-strength session IPA
  • The Old Enemy old English IPA  
  • Tewy’s Misery Australian pale ale

Meanwhile, head chef Breanna Dent runs the kitchen and prepares the delectable pub-style dishes matching the beers. For dessert, craft has heaps of beer-infused cold treats from Lick! Ice-Cream.

Photo Credit: Parched/Facebook

Follow Parched on Instagram for store updates and offerings. 

“Great beer, great service, the food smelt amazing, the ribs looked divine. I’ll have to have them next time. There are some strange reviews for this place but be assured the beer is excellent.”

Phil Heitt

“Had a great experience with a group of my friends. Everything about this place was great. The place was clean and smelled good. The staff was very nice and friendly. They worked as a team in bringing and cleaning up our food. The beers and the stories around them are awesome. Also, great varieties of beers and added values to West End. The food was fresh and awesome. Then we also had dessert and that was really good as well. I love Parched Beer Ice-cream. Great atmosphere with really nice people. We’ll definitely come back. Highly recommended this place.”

Nadeeka Silva

“First visit to the new brewery. Pomegranate sour was a favourite – not too sour and the pomegranate flavour was subtle. The old English ale and the red Irish ale were very similar in taste to traditional uk and Irish ales, which being a Pom I appreciated! Also tried the oatmeal-based brew which was well balanced; it had a bitterness from the roasted oats to compliment the sweetness of the beer, but it wasn’t overly done. Tried the tacos, which were the two veggie / vegan options – the dragonfruit taco was delicious with plenty of filling and sauce. The vegan cauliflower option needed a little more flavour although it was good to see so many vegan and vegetarian options on the menu. Great customer service with really pleasant staff, who enjoy talking about the beer. Dog friendly too which is a great addition. Looking forward to visiting again soon!”

Jen Foster

Montague Road Site in West End Could Become Broadcasting Centre for 2032 Olympics

A 57,000-sqm international broadcasting centre extending to the South Bank Parklands across the river could become part of the preparation for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, if plans to purchase the Visy Glass site along Montague Road in West End push through.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

The Visy site is being eyed as an ideal location for the broadcast centre as it is a short distance to at least five Olympic venues, including the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and The Gabba. 

In early 2021, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner confirmed that they have been in talks with the inner-city factory and are now awaiting approval from the management and board members of Visy Glass. 

Council has set aside a budget of $250 million for the 2021-2022 financial year as the deal will not earn state support, per Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick.

Cr Schrinner added that if closed, Visy will still have several years to transition to a new site while the West End plot will be prepared for the Olympics. 

After the Olympics, the site will be transformed as an extension of the South Bank Parklands, aligning with the Kurilpa Riverfront Renewal Masterplan that intends to open the riverfront land to the public and provide the locals with a lasting legacy. 

Residents Plan Action Against Controversial West End Development

Residents are rallying together to take an active stance against a West End development that will impact Montague Road and the green spaces in Davies Park. 

Henroth Investments and Manly Properties submitted a revision to its development application (DA A005608649) detailing changes in the height of the residential towers and the site cover, or the areas with buildings and structures, on 281-297 Montague Road. 

The details of the changes are as follows:

OLD Development ProposalNEW Development Proposal
two 12-storey buildings
three six-storey buildings
food and drink outlets
602 car parks
Site Cover: 56 percent
two 26-storey towers
741 car parks
730 bike spaces
food and drink outlets
Site Cover: 38 percent

The current tallest building height in West End is 16 storeys, prompting the residents to lodge their opposition to the proposal.

“It’s proposed height will also set a precedence on Montague Rd, with future developers likely to point to it as a reason to raise current building height restrictions on Montague,” one unnamed resident wrote to Council. “This will have a real impact on unit prices in streets parallel to Montague, not to mention destroy the inner city village feel that attracts people here in the first place.”

Residents also said that the height of this development will encroach on Davies Park, where community and sports activities are usually underway, especially on weekends. However, the developer said that they will provide 0.4 hectares of green space if they will be allowed to increase the building’s height.

Photo Credit: Amy MacMahon-Greens MP for South Brisbane/Facebook

“To put this into context, the BCC City Plan says that for every 1,000 residents, there should be at least 1.4 hectares of public green space in the local area. 0.4 hectares isn’t even enough green space for the residents who will live in these new buildings. It won’t do anything to address the existing shortage of green space in the Kurilpa Peninsula,” Greens MP for South Brisbane Amy MacMahon shared on Facebook.  “I really don’t think we should have to choose between more traffic congestion and more crowded schools, or no new public parkland.” 

The community has been meeting regularly to discuss actions to ensure that this West End development application will not be approved. They also agreed to come up with options that will prevent future developments from going the same route. 

Vibrant Endless Summer Markets Happening in West End

Summer may be ending, but in West End, the vibrant pop up Endless Summer Markets is set to capture West End in March.

Presented by The Sunday Girl, Endless Summer Markets will feature the best of pre-loved items, top quality vintage pieces and artisan goods created by local craft makers. The venue will also feature food trucks featuring delectable and healthy eats and sweet treats.

Photo credit: The Sunday Girl/Facebook

The markets will be on Sunday 11 March 2018 on Montague Road in West End.

Event Details

What: The Sunday Girl Endless Summer Markets
When: Sunday 11 March 2018
9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Where: 204 Montague Road, West End

The Sunday event is perfect for artisans and vintage item makers to feature their work and pre-loved articles. Anyone interested to sell their pre-loved items and original arts and crafts can avail of tickets ranging from $27.46 to $48.56.

Vendor Tickets

Food and Beverage Vendor Ticket For food trucks and vendors
Price: $48.56
Stall Holder Ticket Ideal for hand-made goods sellers
Price: $38.01
Rack Stall – Clothing Ticket Provides clothing vendors with 2x1m racks to be displayed
Price: $38.01
Suitcase Rummage – Clothing Ticket Second-hand clothing ticket. Suitcase Rummage. Suitcases must be featured as part of the display.
Price: $27.46

Vendors can choose to share a stall with their fellow vendors to split the fee and maximise profits.

Among the first to stalls to showcase their vintage treasures is Scouted Design, which should give every girl her fill of boho clothing and chick fashion.

Vendor ticket sale will end on 9 March 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Interested in a vendor ticket? Buy tickets here.

Follow The Sunday Girl on Facebook for updates.