A leading architect in Queensland has hit out at plans for Echo Entertainment’s proposed casino set to be built on the Queens Wharf site in Brisbane, saying the $2 billion development needs a larger bock size than those of the city’s urban core and that it would cut out light to public footpaths and roads by building over them.
Richard Kirk, the Queensland President of the Australian Institute of Architects, said the project should instead be built in a peripheral part of the city in order to leave more room for the central business district to expand as well as for new public offices in the government precinct which may be needed as the state’s population expands.
Kirk said the impact of the development upon the CBD should not be understated.
“We can do irreparable damage to the city if we proceed down this path,” Kirk is quoted as saying in a report in The Australian Financial Review. “They’re building the gaming floor over one of the streets, which is just unacceptable. Cities that erode their street network lose their civitas and clear governance structure.”
Set to begin construction in 2017 and open in 2022, the proposed development includes a signature ‘Arc’ building with a sky deck containing restaurants and bars, five new premium hotel brands, a new pedestrian bridge to South Bank, three residential towers, a riverfront moonlight cinema and a Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School with TAFE Queensland.
Echo was granted the right to develop the Queens Wharf site by the government last month.
The government has rejected criticisms of the proposal, with Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk last month saying the project would represent the largest staged construction development in the City since the evolution of Southbank and the biggest change to the ‘tired’ George Street Precinct since the building of Parliament House in 1864 and the Parliamentary Annexe in 1979.