Brisbane Ferry Terminals Design Competition



The recent flood damage to ferry infrastructure provides an opportunity to re-assess the nature of the support infrastructure which was rudimentary. Since public transport along the river has become integral to the city and an identifier for Brisbane -an attribute of city life that sets us apart from other cities- the next phase in the evolution of its support infrastructure is justifiable and necessary.

Our entry in this “Ideas  Competition”  illustrates our main objective,  which is to highlight and enhance  the character of the system’s various terminals. A key finding which defines our proposal,  is  the fact  that each ferry landing location has its own unique contextual attributes and will need to handle differing intensities of passenger movement.  Therefore “adaptability” and “flexibility” are  essential to our proposed  strategy.   Our vision contemplates dynamic and movable  terminals where physical and cultural variances will manifest in unexpected and changing ways.

Additionally, much of the early infrastructure can be characterized by a lack of integration of buildings (architectural elements) and water-based infrastructure (engineering elements).  Achieving  a functional and safe design outcome, integrating architectural & engineering requirements, is also central to this proposal.

DESIGN OBJECTIVES  —  “…in case of flood – tow away…”

  • Build on the success of Brisbane’s water-born public transportation
  • Celebrate the role of the Brisbane River as an integral element of our urban fabric
  • Develop an adaptable facility
  • Design an instantly recognizable facility
  • Flood resilient
  • Meritorious design


  • Implementation: THE NO-LAND SOLUTION


  • Existing Conditions

              – Use of parkland for terminal building                                                             

              – Poor integration of structural & architectural elements

              – Inarticulate assembly of building components

              – Inundation of terminal building during floods

              – No flood resilience and limited durability

              – Serious safety issues during natural disasters

  • Proposed Configuration

             – No land-based construction other than entry portals & signage

             – Water-based terminal building & ferry landing moored to pylon system

             – Cohesive integration of components (terminal-drawbridge-landing)

             – Connection to shoreline via built-in drawbridges

             – Manoeuvrable terminal to be tugged away during floods or as 

                required fully flood resistant with increased durability

            – Improved operability as spares can be built


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