Herston Quarter

A catalyst for health and research innovation. A celebration of heritage character. A vital hub for community. The redevelopment of Herston Quarter is all of these things for Brisbane — and beyond.

The precinct’s master plan — with Hassell as lead designer — combines healthcare, education, housing, retail, recreation and community spaces in one multi-connected place with daily interaction and innovation in its DNA. Envisioned to be deliberately and overtly community enabling, our masterplan for Herston Quarter actively invites people in beyond the working and visiting population.

The $1.1 billion redevelopment plan includes the preservation of heritage buildings — reviving a prominent hilltop landmark — so that the health and knowledge hub has more room to grow and can diversify to meet the needs of the city now — and in the future.

Together, the changes will create a new local landmark for Brisbane and a new global benchmark for health precinct projects. Herston Quarter demonstrates how a healthcare and innovation precinct can be embedded in the community. 

Herston Quarter Stages 1 and 2 won the National Award for Urban Design at the 2023 Australian Institute of Architects Awards as a project that maximizes the site’s best qualities and draws the public into the precinct and heritage centre via a grand gesture: the​‘Spanish Steps’ and glass lift, which link the train station and Victoria Park to the south with the crown of the hill and the site’s north.

Herston Quarter has reclaimed a part of Brisbane that has long felt inaccessible and given it back to its neighbourhood. Its new address, transport, amenity, connectivity and landscape are greatly improved through this project.”

— 2023 AIA National Awards Jury


Australian Unity


Yuggera and Turrbal Country
Brisbane, Australia







Design team

Adam Davies, Kevin Lloyd, Carolyn Jo, Daniel Kallis, Stephen Watson, David Gowty, John Irvine, Riley Flanigan, Chantel Antony, Guy Grigson, Graham Lowe, Keith Hayes, Sandra Forko, Marnie Reid, Lash Moodley, Jennifer Greatrex, Carla Dal Santo


Scott Burrows

Herston Quarter is an investment in a range of spaces that naturally promote wellness beyond a clinical setting.”

— Adam Davies, Principal
>18K daily precinct population by 2027
1.1B AUD$ upgrade
1 multi-connected centre for innovation

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.

  • 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.
  • 2017 Public Private Partnership Awards, Herston Quarter Redevelopment won Best Social Infrastructure Project (Asia Pacific Region)

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


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