Cornerstone Properties have lodged a striking development application with council, proposing a 19-floor commercial office tower at the corner of Wickham and Warner Streets in Fortitude Valley. Dubbed 251 Wickham, the new application supersedes an existing approval for a smaller office development at the site.
The proposed building designed by bureau^proberts will stand far taller than the already approved tower. The new DA proposes a double-height lobby and 12 metres of facade above the top floor. If constructed, the design will top out roughly 40 metres higher than nearby Utopia, despite having six fewer floors.
The current site contains the Myers House building which has been deemed structurally unsound and of little heritage significance by independent assessment.
251 Wickham features a bold design with a distinct profile which steps back with each additional floor, reminiscent of Sydney’s Deutsche Bank Place office tower. Punctuated by white structural pylons to form an exoskeleton-like bracing, the proposal is certainly unique. The tower is oriented south towards the city. Each level features a balcony and full floor glazing to make the most of the aspect.
Aimed at injecting space for creative business, tech start-ups and city-fringe enterprise, the proposal also incorporates communal meeting spaces to encourage interaction. 251 Wickham also includes recreation spaces, end of trip facilities, a gym, lap pool, and a sky terrace to take in the city views.
Landscape design comes from the team at Lat27. The building isn’t as ecologically lush as proposals we’ve seen in recent months but is greener than traditional office buildings in Fortitude Valley. The DA includes trees and gardens at ground level, a welcome addition to this concrete-heavy section of the Valley.
Fortitude Valley is seeing a significant transformation now with Fortitude Valley Train Station currently undergoing a $500 million refurbishment by Valley Metro owners LaSalle. 251 Wickham aims to add to this transformation by strengthening the emerging daytime economy of the Fortitude Valley Precinct. 251 Wickham is in a unique position to both catalyse and contribute to a new era of growth in the Valley.
Cornerstone Properties also owns a site with an approved commercial office tower at 301 Wickham Street which is a little taller than the 251 Wickham proposal. If either proposal gets constructed in the coming years, it would be crowned Fortitude Valley’s tallest building.