The precinct’s master plan carves out generous ‘in-between’ spaces for communal use and more fluid connections. For example, existing courtyards were recast as a series of outdoor rooms – cascading down the hill and around the site – that will fulfil the specific needs of people in the nearest buildings, such as hospital patients who want to recover in the sunshine.
The Herston Quarter precinct will draw thousands of people each day to its hospital and aged care services, medical education, research facilities, residential communities, retail areas and student housing. By 2027, it is predicted to be the size of a small town, with more than 18,000 people there daily.
With careful community-oriented planning, we’re helping the client make the most of Herston’s strategically important urban site. The precinct’s many layers — revealed through a thoughtful balance of old and new, work and life, growth and green space — will ensure it remains an essential destination for years to come.
The first building completed – the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS), designed by Hassell – is an eight-storey, 30,000sqm facility. It offers accommodation and therapy for rehabilitation patients, as well as state-of-the-art treatment on a surgery floor with 10 operating suites and procedure rooms.
The iconic Spanish Steps visually and physically connect Herston Road with the hilltop buildings of the heritage core. Interwoven with lush gardens and shady terraces, the Spanish Steps create welcoming places of respite anchored to the steep hillside. A popular place for wedding photography as much as a lunch spot for healthcare workers, these spaces champion the idea that hospital precincts can be community spaces too.
The Herston Heritage Core delivers a vibrant, thriving, and connected place for people, landscape, and the historic built environment of Brisbane. The public realm injects a new subtropical landscape and layers robust materials, contemporary street furniture and integrated wayfinding to celebrate Brisbane’s climate and outdoor living culture.
Herston’s Heritage Core is designed to be a place people love. It empowers a community to live, work, and socialise in deeply connected ways to Brisbane’s history and Herston Quarter’s broader health and innovation precinct while revealing parts of Brisbane never before accessible or visible.
At the 2023 Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter Awards, Herston Quarter Redevelopment Stages 1 and 2 won the Queensland AIA Karl Langer Award for Urban Design.
“The urban strategies developed for the Herston Quarter successfully navigate an existing site with steep terrain and heritage overlay. The approach reorganises the precinct, revitalising existing heritage buildings, accommodating new buildings, and establishing future sites through the removal of redundant building stock.
“A clever insight to remake the terrain has created a new open space with reorganised access to the adjacent heritage buildings. A green court becomes a new civic address at the site’s highest point. Large public steps, a glazed lift, and a bridge signal and manage equitable north – south connections along the steepest and most difficult terrain.
“The topographical reconfiguration establishes accessible plateaus for future building sites and connection to a new east – west colonnade along a contour that connects it to the greater hospital beyond.
“The edges are activated, permeable, and transparent; open spaces are green, and the landscape is lush and cooling; and park and city views are defended and retained. The finishes are robust and high quality and heritage aspects are visible and respected. Herston Quarter connects to the immediate and broader city through its proximity to adjacent transport networks, bringing amenity to its users and the public.
“This forthright urban design on a difficult site supplies opportunities for new accommodation and commercial usage that encourage activation and public access, clearly establishing the Quarter’s new future as more than a health precinct.”
— AIA QLD Awards Jury