Brisbane Ferry Terminals take out top design award

Aurecon and Cox Architecture has been awarded the Good Design Award of the Year 2017 by Good Design Australia for its design of the Brisbane Ferry Terminals.Aurecon and Cox Architecture has been awarded the Good Design Award of the Year 2017 by Good Design Australia for its design of the Brisbane Ferry Terminals.

The terminals were designed to withstand the impact of a flood similar to that of 12 January 2011, when the Brisbane River broke its banks and affected thousands of homes.

The design concept was a shift away from previous design conventions in regards to aesthetics, flood resilience and accessibility. It invloved a range of different skills across the maritime, industrial, mechanical and architectural disciplines.

The Good Design Australia judges commented that the project is: “An excellent example of a multidisciplinary design collaboration that has resulted in a truly innovative and game-changing project. Every detail has been meticulously designed and engineered with the end user in mind.

“A truly ground-breaking design-innovation with the potential to be adapted and used all over the world.”

According to John McGuire, Aurecon’s Global Chief Innovation Officer, they used teams who don’t usually design ferry terminals, let alone collaborate.

“Innovation is not a one-discipline show and tapping into diverse schools of design became key to creating an innovative, world-first solution,” he said.

“The key included the whole group understanding the problem. They had to forget ‘safe’ and come up with something that challenged the boundaries of what was possible. The team didn’t just solve the problem…they interrogated it, asking ‘Why?’; ‘Why not?’ and ‘What if?’ across every aspect of their design.”

Arne Nilsen, Aurecon’s Technical Director, Brisbane Energy and Resources, explained a key feature of the terminal’s innovative design is the gangways underneath the floatation chamber, which develops buoyancy as the water rises.

“As you get to a certain water level ‒ well above the normal high tide operating level ‒ where the abutment is running with about 600 or 700 mm deep water, so no one’s going to be using it, then it releases at the shore end. This enables the gangway to swing behind the pontoon and avoid being hit by debris,” he says.

The Terminals also won Good Design Award Best Overall for Product Design 2017 and Good Design Award Best in Category for Product Design, Commercial and Industrial.

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