Ageing heritage buildings that have been poorly maintained over the decades always present a challenge for developers looking to improve their value. Restoration is a careful craft and can often be overwhelmed by attempts to repurpose and extend. This 145-year-old retail building had been beset by inauthentic attempts at extension that blurred the original cultural heritage and left the site significantly under-developed.

POWE Architects assisted Pellicano Builders and Zagame Corporation to execute a design vision by Cavill Architects that restored the original heritage building to its former glory while creating a modern extension that wraps the lightness of timber and tin in a solid architectural language more engaged with the forms James St in the 21st Century.

Working closely with the construction team, our architects supported the careful peeling back of the 50’s, 80’s and 00’s envelopes to reveal the original building fabric, which is now being restored to its original condition for the first time in over 60 years. The new construction involved the careful detailing and erection of 57 unique precast elements to create the bookending elevation statements that will form the entry statements to this exciting retail and culinary destination.

49 James Street currently under construction in Fortitude Valley.

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  • – 77 apartments
  • – 2.5 basements of parking
  • – Almost 10,000m³ of basement excavation
  • – 11 storeys of tower crane from the bottom of the basement excavation

In a challenging market, our client made the decision to lead the market in developing a residential build-to-rent product in a neighbourhood that had previously only accommodated low level industrial.

POWE Architects assisted South City Construct to develop the concept into what will be the first residential apartment project on the northern edge of Perry Park. The last few months have seen furious digging through some unforgiving ground conditions and as of this month, we now have a crane erected on the site that shows how the building will dominate the skyline on the northern entry to the city for years to come.

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We all know that the ideal site for a shopping centre is big, flat and has sightlines that stretch for miles. We also know that in existing suburbs such sites are not easy to locate, particularly when the residential growth has taken all of the available flat land. So when our client approached us with a concept to put a supermarket-anchored centre on a block with a serious cross-fall in a man-made valley of apartment towers we jumped at the challenge this represented for traditional retail solutions.

The answer was to use the topography and surrounding neighbourhood rather than pushing against it. POWE Architects located the main body of the supermarket to activate the street frontages and moved the car parking to the rear of the site. The slope of the land was then put to work to sleeve the majority of car parking and service vehicles under the building with verdant landscape buffers, decorative screens, and acoustic buffers to the residential neighbours to provide amenity and privacy.

The building form achieves a high-quality architecture and urban design response through modulation and articulation at the pedestrian level, a contemporary and visually attractive design, geometric elements, different wall cladding, screening elements, integrated signage and lighting.  Elements above the pedestrian level provide overlooking activation of the facade through the inclusion of active walkways and windows to what would normally be blank service zones. The architectural language and materials palette of the centre enhances the Centre zone character through incorporating contrasting materials of steel, timber and brick and a broad range of colours that work with on extending tenant branding to a modern, attractive commerce centre.

The development application for Coles Varsity Lakes was lodged 17/09/2021.

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Similar retail projects the POWE Team has delivered include;

Coles Yarrabilba

Coles Alderley

Coles Ipswich