1 William Street, Brisbane

1 William Street is a skyscraper in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and is the second tallest in the city at 259.8 metres.[1] The modernist style office building is located in the Brisbane central business district, in close proximity to Parliament House. The building was developed for the Queensland Government as part of the government's plan for a renewed Government Administrative Precinct and to meet its accommodation demands.

1 William Street
Building at sunset
General information
TypeOffice tower
Architectural styleModernist
Location1 William Street, Brisbane, Queensland
Coordinates27°57′5.137″S 153°02′5.779″E
Current tenantsQueensland Government
Construction started4 March 2013
OpeningOctober 2016
Cost$650 million
OwnerCbus Property
Antenna spire259.8 m (852 ft)
Top floor179.1 m (588 ft)
Technical details
Floor count46
Floor area119,977 m2 (1,291,420 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectWoods Bagot
DeveloperCbus Property
Main contractorBrookfield Multiplex
Building webpage, CTBUH Skyscraper Center

Construction cost of the tower was expected to be $538 million, with a total development cost of over $650 million. It was completed in October 2016 with staff moving in over 6 weekends.

History of the site

The site was formerly bisected by Short Street and comprised a number of different allotments and uses. Buildings occupied the area as early as 1854 and it was used for a variety of functions including; manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, housing, and electricity generation.

The Queensland Government began purchasing the properties in the 1960s as part of their Government Precinct development scheme and began demolishing the existing buildings, some dating to the 1850s. The demolition of the adjacent Bellevue Hotel and construction of 80 George Street saw the spoil from there dumped on the 1 William Street site. Short Street was closed and all of the site was amalgamated into one allotment, 1 William Street.

In 1974, the site was allocated for future government offices.[2]

1 William Street is a 6,778-square-metre (72,960 sq ft) site, owned by the Queensland Government, and from 1982 until 2013 it was used as a government car park. The site encompasses a whole city block between William, Alice and Margaret Streets and Riverside Expressway.

Since 2012, 1 William Street is often referred to as the "Tower of Power" in the media which is a reference to the political strength of the commissioning former Newman Government and that the building is filled entirely with Queensland Government public servants.[3][4][5][6]

Cultural heritage significance

The site has archaeological potential of possible cultural heritage significance. Remnants of 1850s buildings are visible above the current ground level and it is likely that significant sub-surface fabric survives.


In August 2012 Expressions of Interest were called for from experienced organisations interested in bidding for the project. It was proposed that the site would be available to the successful party under a long term lease arrangement and that the Queensland Government would take a long term lease over approximately 75,000 m2 (810,000 sq ft) of the office space in the development.[7]

In September 2012 six developers were shortlisted to develop proposals for a new high-rise tower. The shortlisted companies were Cbus, Lend Lease, Brookfield, Westfield, Leighton Properties and Grocon.[8][9]

In December 2012, Cbus was announced as the developer for 1 William Street.[10] The developer was granted a 99-year lease over the site and a guaranteed 15-year government lease for 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft) of office space.[11]


1 William Street has a gross floor area of 119,977 m2 (1,291,420 sq ft) and a net lettable area of 74,853 m2 (805,710 sq ft) of office space, excluding retail which covers 1,169 m2 (12,580 sq ft). The design includes 318 car bays.[12]

About 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft) has been allocated for government space, leaving around 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) to be subleased by the private sector.[12] It is intended to receive a 5-star NABERS office energy rating and a 3-star NABERS office water rating. The building is the first new commercial office building developed for government in the Brisbane CBD since the completion of the government office building at 33 Charlotte Street in 2004.[13]

The theme and colour scheme for each floor has been dedicated to a Queensland icon or natural phenomenon.[14]

G to 2base palette (neutral cream, brown and grey tones)
3 to 5Barramundi
6 to 8Moreton Bay Fig
9 to 11Saltwater Crocodile
12 to 14Coloured Sands
16 to 17Purple Fan Coral
19 to 21Cassowary
22 to 24Green Tree Frog
25 to 27Pineapple
28 to 30Orange Pore Fungi
31 to 33Outback Sands
34 to 36Sapphire
37 to 39Sugar Cane
40 to 41Water Dragon


The construction, which was undertaken by Multiplex, commenced in early 2013 and was completed in 2016.[15]

The Groundbreaking, attended by the Treasurer of Queensland Tim Nicholls and the Deputy Premier of Queensland Jeff Seeney, was held on 4 March 2013.[16]

From 1 October 2016, nine full departments and agencies, all state government ministers, most directors-general and more than 5,000 public servants moved to 1 William Street.[17] Some sections from 11 other departments also shifted to 1 William Street, while other sections of these departments will move to other buildings in the inner-city. Three buildings will be demolished; the Executive Building at 100 George Street, the Executive Annex at 80 George Street and the Neville Bonner Building at 75 William Street.


See also


  1. 1 William Street – The Skyscraper Center Archived 16 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  2. Sarah Vogler (21 December 2012). "State Government announces successful bid for development of high-rise administrative complex at 1 William Street". The Courier-Mail. News Queensland. Archived from the original on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  3. Architects fault Campbell Newman's tower of power, Herald Sun, 16 March 2013
  4. [Union backs Crown against 'King of Gambling' for Brisbane casino, Brisbane Times, 18 December 2014]
  5. 1 William Street to be entirely filled by public servants, Brisbane Times, 16 June 2015 Archived 4 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  6. 1 William Street: High winds, rain delay completion of Brisbane's 'Tower of Power', Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 22 August 2016 Archived 31 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "1 William Street". Queensland Treasury. The State of Queensland. 28 September 2012. Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  8. Urbanalyst Staff (2 October 2012). "Six developers shortlisted for development at 1 William Street, Brisbane". urbanalyst. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  9. Carter, Bridget (13 December 2012). "Giants in battle for $1 billion precinct". The Australian. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  10. "William Street transformation a step closer to reality". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  11. Sarah Vogler (21 December 2012). "State announces CBD tower developer". News Limited. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  12. Daniel Hurst (21 December 2012). "Green light for CBD skyscraper". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  13. Plans for 1 William Street Unveiled Archived 14 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Brisbane Development.com
  14. The people who built 1 William Street, The Urban Developer
  15. "1 William Street: Moving day arrives for public servants in Brisbane". ABC. 1 October 2016. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  16. Amy Remeikis. "Brisbane Live at Work: Monday March 4". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 5 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  17. Hinchcliffe, Jessica (21 October 2016). "Print Email Facebook Twitter More 1 William Street: Moving day arrives for public servants in Brisbane". ABC News. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  18. Where you end up in George St public servant shuffle Archived 25 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine

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