Queensland Government Plans First Inner-City Brisbane School In Decades

Two new schools will open in the inner-city in Brisbane and another significantly expanded as the Palaszczuk Government committed $500 million to the Building Future Schools Fund.

The fund’s purposes centres around building new schools, securing land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions and creating the necessary jobs to accomplish the projects in place.

Image: A ‘vertical school’ in Melbourne – the emerging concept throughout Australia to deliver more educational institutions without requiring vast amounts of land. Courtesy Hayball.

“We will build the first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We want every child to benefit from a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why we are investing $500 million over five years to help deliver world class education facilities where they are needed most,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said through the Fund, the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative will:

  • deliver a new state secondary school at the former Fortitude Valley State School site in partnership with Queensland University of Technology
  • establish a new high school in the inner-south working with the University of Queensland to take enrolment pressure off Brisbane State High School
  • support the expansion of West End State School to meet enrolment demand

The Palaszczuk Government also claimed to have plans already underway for new state high schools in other growth areas across Queensland including Mt Low in Townsville, North Lakes/Mango Hill north of Brisbane, Calliope near Gladstone and Yarrabilba in South Logan.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said over the last 50 years, Brisbane used all available land to expand existing school sites, but she said you can only expand so much.

This article was originally published by The Urban Developer.

Click here to read the entire article.

This Incredible Skyscraper Is Actually A Vertical Forest

Nanjing Green Towers isn’t your average skyscraper, you see it’s actually Asia’s first vertical forest.

The idea behind a vertical forest is simple: You essentially turn a building into a giant living breathing air filter, helping to clear the air pollution that often comes hand in hand with city living.


It’s a truly astonishing piece of architecture, you see dotted along its facades are 600 tall trees, 500 medium-sized trees while a staggering 2,500 plants and shrubs then cover a 6,000sqm area.

Not only does this increase biodiversity in the local area but it will be able to absorb some 25 tonnes of CO2 every year while producing some 60kg of oxygen every day. As our cities have grown exponentially it has become clear that new buildings have to take a different approach.

We can no longer just build boxes that contain humans, we have to build ecosystems. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, Nanjing Green Towers will be the first vertical forest in Asia.  This will be the third vertical forest project by the architecture firm after they completed their first building in Milan and then a second project in Switzerland.

Originally Published by The Huffington Post, continue reading here.

Introducing Mr David Vago , Director at Habit8

The upcoming 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Hyatt Canberra from Monday 7 November to Wednesday 9 November 2016. Joining us are presenters from 7 countries including Australia, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr David Vago, Director at Habit8.
Mr David Vago, Director at Habit8.

Mr David Vago , Director at Habit8 joins us at the upcoming International Urban Design Conference and will discuss  ‘Obecity: what is a smart edible city?’

Should the city be an optimised “panopticon”, (as smart city technology grows) or a melting pot of cultures, ideas and  food production born from grass roots humanism? What does our quest for technology integration mean to the organic growth , health and sustainability of our cities?  Habit8 through its ideas generation think tank will demonstrate the correlation of smart city technology with successful edible and functional urban spaces exploring how new age smart tech can balance smart organics thus producing sustainable city precincts that ultimately solve social issues such as social disconnection, depression, homelessness, an ageing population, housing affordability and the obesity epidemic.

David Vago is an influencer and futurist. He is known for his contribution to place making and landscape architecture but he contributes equal value to a range of other industries. David’s ability to think fast and strategically has helped numerous businesses develop with maximum exposure, authentic content and funky branding. Having created numerous start-ups and having run professional consultancies for over 13 years, David has those rare adaptive skills that makes him a valuable member of any organisation and in particular the City making fraternity.

David has used his exceptional people skills, management ability and creativity to branch out into a range of business areas outside the urban realm to which his formal qualifications relate.  It is in these areas that David adds unique value to industry urban design projects and is an asset to communities where ideas, creative flare, place branding, place activation and experiential marketing alongside good landscape architecture produce successful places. His ideas are plentiful and his work is diverse. Over the last 5 years his ideas have captured the media and publics’ imagination with a variety of speculative and conceptual city making proposals some of which have influenced Government at a local, State and Federal level. David currently runs place-making, urban design and landscape architecture firm Habit8 which has offices in Sydney, Byron Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Poland and Bali.

For more information on the 9th International Urban Design Conference please visit the Conference Website.


Sydney Opera House set for $202 million facelift.

Shortly after Chinese actor Jackie Chan filmed daring stunts atop the Sydney Opera House, the New South Wales government has announced that Australia’s cultural icon will undergo a multimillion facelift starting next year.

Deputy Premier and Arts Minister Troy Grant announced Thursday the biggest and most significant renovation plan for the Sydney Opera House since it opened in 1973.

“The Sydney Opera House has played an important role in our nation’s history and embarking on these renewal projects will ensure that it continues to be relevant for generations to come,” he said.

Grant said that the NSW government will fund the $202 million Concert Hall upgrade using the proceeds of the sale of the state’s electricity assets. The Sydney Opera House reportedly cost $100 million to build over 40 years ago, but the state claimed that the “cultural and iconic” value of the building is worth $4.6 billion.

The son of the late Jørn Utzon, the Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, sits in the panel to ensure that the changes will abide by the original design principle that made the building an iconic architectural structure.

Visitors walk among a glowing fluorescent sculpture as a light show is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on the second night of the annual Vivid Sydney light festival in Sydney, Australia, May 28, 2016. Reuters/Jason Reed
Visitors walk among a glowing fluorescent sculpture as a light show is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on the second night of the annual Vivid Sydney light festival in Sydney, Australia, May 28, 2016. Reuters/Jason Reed

Renovation details

According to Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron, a new acoustic ceiling will be installed with reflectors for better sound distribution.

“The problem is with the very high ceiling a lot of the sound that the orchestra actually makes rises and isn’t reflected down, so that the musicians on one side — for example the second violins — have trouble hearing the double basses,” Herron said.

“It means, it’s not such a good experience as it could be if the sound is more contained.”

The stage’s elevation will be lowered and the back stage will be expanded. The “glass donuts” above the stage will be removed so does the “marquee” on the northern broadwalk.

The working design that Grant unveiled also include the provision of three lifts and an escalator to the foyer. The air conditioning system for the foyer will be replaced with new air conditioning system that will be installed under the seats.

There is also a proposal to construct a new function centre on the ground floor that could accommodate 190 seats and 500 standing people. Additional passageways will be constructed and up to 26 wheelchair seating areas in various parts of the concert hall.

Sydney Opera House Closure

Renovation works will be done in tranches to keep the Sydney Opera House open to the public. Construction of a new lounge and cafe at the box office foyer will be done in two stages, beginning in 2017 and 2019.

The most disruptive stage, the concert hall renovation, will run from August 2019 to January 2021 and force the Sydney Opera House to be closed to the public.

Read more.

What will happen to Zaha Hadid’s Australian projects?

urban designerThe architecture community today is mourning the loss of one of it’s most formidable talents, Dame Zaha Hadid, after she died of a heart attack at age 65.

Developers behind her two projects in Queensland, Sunland Group, said it was an honour to collaborate with Hadid on her first Australian projects — Grace on Coronation in Brisbane and the proposed redevelopment of Mariner’s Cove the Gold Coast.

“She was truly one of the most creative designers of our generation and leaves behind a legacy of unique architectural works that will inspire generations,” said Sunland Group Managing Director, Sahba Abedian. “It is also a sad day for architecture, who lost one of its pioneering thinkers. Our thoughts are with her family, loved ones, colleagues and collaborators at this very sad time.”

Grace on Coronation received Development Approval from Brisbane City Council in 2015. It is currently before the court following an objection from a neighbouring property. The Group’s Development Application for The Mariner is before Gold Coast City Council for their final determination.

Practically, Abedian told Vogue Living he does not expect too much to change. “She has had a lifelong partnership with Patrick Schumacher and there are of course the partners within her practice, so ultimately the practice will continue to endure. Hopefully these projects will continue to receive the approvals and they will be able to make an important contribution to the urban landscapes of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”

It’s now even more important to the firm to see the projects completed. “There is a more compelling sense now to see this work come to fruition.”

“There is no doubt the the contribution she has made in architecture and design, is one that will endure in many years to come.” To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will take place in Melbourne in November.  To express your interest in the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE.