Conrad Gargett was appointed to undertake a Masterplan of the Victoria Barracks Site, a large complex of buildings in inner Brisbane West which has been a functioning defence base since 1864. The site contains a number of significant buildings dating from different periods during its operation which tell the story of the important role of Defence to Brisbane and Queensland.
Through workshops with council, heritage and landscape analysis, new approaches to the existing buildings and site were developed and tested. This considered the wider urban context of the site within a cultural landscape and leveraged opportunities to create new connections and capitalize on its prominent location.
Our Masterplan proposal aimed to tell the unique story of the site through a visitor centre, museum, artefacts and heritage walking trail while retaining and enhancing the Defence presence on site. Engaging with the public through programming and an activated public domain design were critical to leveraging the value of the site which has been secured for defence use for most of its history.
New uses for heritage buildings were proposed that were appropriate to their existing form, scale, internal layout and original function. Proposals for new buildings highlighted the requirement to be sensitive to siting and to respect existing heritage buildings while enabling a commercially viable redevelopment.
Overall, the Masterplan aimed to create a new, permeable mixed use precinct improving the amenity of City West through hotel accommodation, functions, retail, community functions and quality public realm.