Architecture and Renovation, Brisbane's sales market, West End

Post-flood design for new West End apartments

Council looks set to approve a 52 apartment development for Victoria Street, with the design adapted to new interim planning rules following January’s flood. Until the full findings on the flood cause are known BCC has asked developers to raise their lowest habitable areas, clearing 500mm above the offical January flood height of 6.33m AHD.

If full Council approval follows this week’s Planning Committee nod the Victoria Street project will rise 7 storeys with a 2 level basement. The basement’s entry has also been raised to 6.7m. Victoria Street was flood-effected but this site appears to be right at the edge of where the water came to.

It’ll be interesting to see public reaction to the plan given past local resistance to greater heights along the Montague Road precinct. We’d suggest the small height increase is a smart move, giving buyers greater comfort that, should the unimaginable happen and we do get another freak flood event, the apartments will be well above the 2011 levels.

Of course the biggest issue other local apartment buildings have faced has been the sensitive infrastructure they have in their basements – electrical, lifts and ventilation motors to name a few. Some that were nowhere near the river and had no surface water flooding, had basement inundation due to backed-up storm water lines. This new project’s solutions to those challenges will be its real test.