The Best of Brisbane, Daylight Edition: Abian Botanic Gardens (plus one Honorable Mention)

You’ve seen 111 Eagle Street, my pick for Brisbane’s Best at night. Now it’s time for the daylight edition winner, and that’s Abian Botanic Gardens.

Named for its proximity to Brisbane’s luxurious City Botanic Gardens, Abian is a 41-story condominium tower that just opened this summer. Built by Sunland Group, it is a design from Wood Marsh Architecture of Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Honorable Mention goes to Soleil ApartmentsMeriton Suites at 485 Adelaide Street. We stayed in a Meriton room our one night in Brisbane, but didn’t realize just how tall this monster was until we went out and about town, then started walking back. It’s got the height I love, plus great curvy colors on the facades.

Designed by DBI Designs (I’ll always love them for Jewel Residences) for Meriton,  Soleil was completed in 2012. It weighs in at 76 stories, with residences on the upper floors, and the hotel suites down low. It is officially the tallest building I’ve ever spent a night in. (I’m sure they’ll be adding a plaque in the lobby.)

The Best of Brisbane, Nighttime Edition: 111 Eagle Street

111 Eagle Street Brisbane Queensland Australia

111 Eagle Street stands out from the rest on the Brisbane skyline.

If you wander the streets of Brisbane during the light of day, but head indoors when the sun disappears, you’ll miss out some of the greatest views I’ve ever experienced, in any city.

Story Bridge Brisbane

Story Bridge from the Brisbane Riverwalk.

Here’s what you should do: When it gets dark, head down to the riverwalk along the Brisbane River, and keep going until you see the pretty blue lights framing Story Bridge. Then walk to the bridge itself and begin crossing the river. Now, stop. And just look.

From this vantage point, you’ll find Brisbane’s most spectacular piece of after-dark architecture, 111 Eagle Street. Designed by Cox Architecture (we saw their work at Conservatory Melbourne), developed by GPT Funds Management, and built by CIMIC Group111 Eagle Street opened in 2012. During the day, the 54-story tower doesn’t make the same impression. But just wait until you see it light up.


Red At Night, Mary Lane Delights

Mary Lane Brisbane 111 Mary Street

Watpac’s two red tower cranes at Mary Lane, flanked by the blue crane of Skytower and the moon.

Mary Lane Brisbane is a 37-story mixed-use tower being built in the heart of Brisbane’s Central Business District by GMP Management. The Woods Bagot design incorporates 184 luxury residences atop a 286-room Westin Brisbane Hotel. The apartments will be included in levels 17-36; the hotel will rise to the 16th floor. Completion is slated for late in 2018.

The renderings you’ll see in the gallery below are striking, but this project already looks amazing in the Brisbane skyline, thanks to builder Watpac’s pair of lighted-up tower cranes. And as you know, the direct route to my heart is always through lighting tower cranes at night.

Brisbane Skytower on its way to becoming Brisbane’s tallest building

Brisbane Skytower

Brisbane Skytower, on the right, will be Brisbane’s tallest building. On the left is Abian Botanic Gardens, a gorgeous tower with a funny name.

Brisbane Skytower is a 90-story residential building currently being constructed in the Central Business District of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It has a familiar name doing the heavy labor: Hutchinson Builders, who we met in the Walan Apartments post.

Being developed by Billbergia of suburban Sydney, Brisbane Skytower will include 1135 units. of course, it’s going to be loaded with creature comforts, but the detail that stands out will be the rooftop infinity pool, which will allow residents to swim to the edge of the Brisbane skyline and look out over the city. Designed by Noel Robinson Architects, it will become the tallest building in Brisbane.

Cranes Without Context: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Edition

Cranes Without Context Brisbane

Looking north from the 22nd floor of Soleil/Meriton.

We had less than 24 hours to wander Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Luckily, we got a nice day on which to do it. I snapped photos from our 22nd-floor serviced apartment at Soleil Meriton (Meriton is one of my new favorite brands. Great place to stay, and they build fantastic new towers all over Sydney, Brisbane, and Gold Coast.) and Story Bridge. Heck, I even snapped a couple shots on our Uber ride into town. There simply wasn’t enough time to get up close to these projects and learn more about them.



Hutchinson Builders lights up Kangaroo Point, Brisbane with Walan Apartments

Walan Apartments Brisbane

Walan Apartments, lower right (with tower crane), rises just beyond Brisbane’s Story Bridge.

Walan Apartments first catches your eye from the City Reach Boardwalk along the Brisbane River. It’s hard not to notice; Hutchinson Builders has a huge banner celebrating their 105 years in business hanging from the west elevation of the construction site. But it’s after dark when Walan becomes can’t-miss scenery. That’s when Hutchinson lights up the tower crane like a giant blue lightsaber guarding the entrance to Story Bridge.

Walan Apartments is a 14-story apartment tower from GBW Investments. Designed by the Brisbane architecture firm of Bureau^Proberts, the project includes just 14 units at 2 Scott Street. It is expected to open in 2018.

Tower-crane hunting from Brisbane’s Victoria Bridge

I prepped for our Australia trip the same way I do for every city I visit; I jumped on Google Maps and tried to find the most advantageous spots for seeing tower cranes. (Actually, I don’t do it just for travel. I do that in cities all over the world, whether I have travel aspirations there or not.)

I found a great spot in Brisbane, Victoria. As you can see in the tweet below, I spotted 20 tower cranes from the Victoria Bridge by scanning 360 degrees from the span across the Brisbane River.

Even so, I still got there a little too late; a tweet from June 2016 claims 26 cranes were visible from the bridge:

Obviously, I knew I had to make the pilgrimage. Alas, “all” I found were 19 tower cranes. Pretty impressive for standing in one spot (about 4/5 of the way across toward South Brisbane.

Without context, here they are: