Mangroves Inspire Screened Luxury Apartment Building
The architects brief was to design an iconic building to be used for luxury apartments in Australia overlooking the central business district of Brisbane across a river – on a site had been previously occupied by a dilapidated motel building from the 1950s.
So architects Damian Barker & Paul Brace of Jackson Teece used biomimicry to pay homage to the angles created by mangroves and melaleuca trees to create an iconic building while responding to the sub-tropical climate, riverside environment.
Inspired by nearby mangroves and melaleuca forests, the sinuous screens provide a visual identity and visual privacy, while providing thermal protection from the fierce tropical heat beating down in this part of Australia.
Up close, these nature-inspired screens formed of cast concrete elements, are authentic reproductions of the organized randomness found in nature, as if organically grown – on an assembly line.
The ten luxurious apartments in 15 stories utilize an asymmetric plan that results in a building that is screened off from the heat on one side with the filigreed concrete screen, but has balconies on the other side to take in the river views.
At night, the iconic building allows some light to twinkle out through the filigreed concrete screen, but much less than from a “normal” building, preserving the darkness around the site for nocturnal creatures that are disturbed by city lights.