Riparian Plaza

Riparian Plaza is a 53-storey skyscraper located in the central business district of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The building stands at 250 m (820 ft) in height to its communications spire and 200 m (660 ft) to its roof. It was Brisbane's tallest building until it was surpassed by Aurora in 2006 and is a particularly iconic building on the Brisbane skyline. It is a mixed use building, with 11 car park levels from the ground up, 25 commercial levels, and 12 residential levels originally housing 50 penthouse apartments.

Riparian Plaza
General information
Location71 Eagle Street, Brisbane, Queensland
Coordinates27.468136°S 153.030072°E / -27.468136; 153.030072
Construction started2002
Antenna spire250 m (820 ft)[1]
Roof200 m (660 ft)
Top floor188 m (617 ft)[2]
Technical details
Floor count53
Floor area55,000 m2 (590,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectHarry Seidler
DeveloperBloomberg [3]
Structural engineerRobert Bird Group [4]
Main contractorMultiplex [5]

On top of the tower is a 50 m (160 ft) communications spire. A recreation centre including a swimming pool is located on 39th floor, between the commercial and residential sections. The carpark is accessed via a helical annexe. The tower has an open plaza and promenade space totaling 3,500 m2 (38,000 sq ft). The upper plaza level contains Madame Wu, an Asian Fusion restaurant.

The building was developed by Bloomberg Incorporation Limited with a construction cost of A$130 million.[5] Bloomberg retained ownership of the 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) commercial component and sold off the residential apartments during construction. It is located at 71 Eagle Street, and was the last waterfront vacant block in the Brisbane CBD.[6] Riparian Plaza provided the first, new, premium office space available in the Brisbane CBD for a decade. The building has a total floor area of approximately 55,000 m2 (590,000 sq ft).[6] Brisbane Square completed in 2006, was the next major office building constructed in Brisbane.

Construction and design

Riparian Plaza was designed by Harry Seidler (architect) and Robert Bird Group (structural engineer). Most office spaces have river views, due to the 45-degree angle to the river of the building and the lack of columns on these mid level floors.[6] Each penthouse has its own curvilinear, projecting terrace that faces the river.[7] The cantilevering balconies have a highly sculptured shape.[4] Seidler claimed the composite stacking of sectors vertically is unique in Australia.[6]

The shape of the tower has been carefully formed to maximise the outlook for occupants up and down the river. The base sector houses parking, the mid segment is column-free offices and the reshaped top consists of the greatest apartments we have ever designed.[6]

There were significant delays in the completion of the building.[8] It was originally scheduled to be completed by early 2004 (giving a record construction time of 100 weeks). This date was continually pushed back. The delay led to significant criticism of the project in the local media, as well as complaints from prospective tenants of the building and withdrawal of committed tenants.[9][10] The building was completed in November 2005.

In October 2007, Riparian Plaza won the top prize for commercial architecture at the annual national architecture awards.[11] In 2008, the building won the overall winner of the Rider Levett Bucknall / Property Council of Australia Award and the Property Council of Australia Award for Mixed Use Development.[12]


The building made headlines in 2005 when a severe storm caused two window washers to become stranded on the 30th floor. One of the window washers was rescued by an IRATA qualified rope tech that happened to be onsite at the time. The second window washer was stranded with the second rescuer (due to the approaching electrical storm) on the swing stage and the fire department's rope rescue team pulled the remaining window washer and rescuer through the opening where the glass that was removed by the glaziers onsite.[13]

A large panel of glass from pool fencing on level 39 crashed to Eagle Street in the early morning hours of 27 August 2009, creating a mess but no injuries.[14]


Office tenants include broker Wilson HTM and law firm Clayton Utz and Littles Lawyers.[15] KPMG’s Brisbane office occupies levels 14 to 19.[16] John Pearce, former CEO of the nearby Collection House, paid $6.7 million for the top penthouse.[17]

The building has attracted significant investor interest with median capital growth at 24.8% during 2007 and 27% in 2008.[18] The building currently contains only 47 apartments, however there were 52 in the original design.[3] Due to a flexible body corporate apartment amalgamations have been permitted and even encouraged because they enhance the exclusivity and therefore the price of the apartments.[18]

The exterior of the building was a filming location for the 2009 science-fiction thriller film Daybreakers.[19]

See also


  1. Riparian Plaza, Brisbane /
  2. Riparian Plaza, Brisbane -
  3. "Solid Foundations Anchor Icon - Brisbane's Riparian Plaza set to soar skywards". PropertyWeb. 1 March 2002. Archived from the original on 4 January 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  4. "Robert Bird Group - Riparian Plaza". Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  5. "Property Details: Riparian Plaza". Brookfield Multiplex Construction. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  6. "Riparian Plaza". Harry Seidler and Associates. Brisbane, Queensland. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
  7. Maugeri, Melissa (1 June 2005). "Finish nears for problem-plagued Riparian". The Courier-Mail (1 - First with the news ed.). Brisbane, Qld. p. 031. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  8. Sommerfeld, Jeff (26 March 2004). "Deloitte digs in again at Riverside". The Courier-Mail (1 - First with the news ed.). Brisbane, Australia. p. 040. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  9. Condon, Turi (5 February 2004). "Building hold-up fires up heavies". Australian, The (1 - All-round Country ed.). p. 039. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  10. Vic and Qld dominate architecture awards. 25 October 2007. Retrieved on 27 October 2007.
  11. Hele, Michelle (30 May 2008). "Riparian Plaza wins top award - Gong also for Forest Ridge". The Courier-Mail (1 - First with the news ed.). Brisbane, Australia. p. 092. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  12. "SE Qld mops up after storms". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 December 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  13. Robyn Ironside (27 August 2009). "Glass falls 39 floors from Riparian Plaza in Brisbane CBD". The Courier-Mail. Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  14. "Utz climbs aboard Plaza development". City News (1 ed.). Brisbane, Australia. 15 November 2001. p. 026. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  15. Hele, Michelle (4 August 2006). "Riparian move adds up for accountants". The Courier-Mail (1 - First with the news ed.). Brisbane, Australia. p. 090. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  16. Houghton, Des (8 October 2005). "Apartments go sky high". The Courier-Mail (1 - First with the news ed.). p. 026. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  17. Grant Stockwell. "What global downturn?". City News. News Community Media. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  18. Shearer, Geoff (30 January 2010). "True Brisbane blood - Duo gets a bite of the big time". The Courier-Mail (1 - First with the news ed.). Brisbane, Australia. p. 030. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
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