The Australian Institute of Architects supports and welcomes the opportunity for investment in the city and in Queensland provided by a project of the scale of the integrated entertainment and leisure precinct proposal – but strongly recommends that the investment could be harnessed to greater effect and with fewer impediments on a more strategic and less vulnerable location than that anchored by Queen’s Wharf.
The Brisbane Casino project is a large urban project by any measure – for example, it is larger than Sydney’s Barangaroo and is currently Australia’s largest private development. A major concern of the Institute is that the proposed location of this very large project would substantially diminish the cultural and physical significance of Queensland’s Government precinct.
The Government precinct is an unsuitable choice for a development of such an overwhelmingly large size and scale. A world class, contemporary casino project demands a much larger grid, or block size, than that available in the Government precinct, which is ordered by the relatively small block size of Brisbane’s urban core.
As for the existing site – the current proposal would disrupt what is a long established and intact government precinct that it is contiguous with the city’s legal precinct and with major civic spaces. In its proposed form, the casino development would sterilise the site from any further government or public agency functions – and yet the proposed development has a weak relationship both with the parliamentary buildings and the new government offices at number 1 Williams street. It is likely that many of the anticipated qualities of the public spaces within the proposed development would be compromised by the environmental impact of the Riverside Freeway that runs the length of the development. […]