Woods Bagot and Urbis revitalise Rockhampton Riverside precinct

Laurence DragomirJuly 19, 20180 min read

Woods Bagot has designed a new $31 million pier and lift structure which form key elements of the Urbis-led Master Plan for the Rockhampton Riverside Precinct. The project seeks to revitalise the riverside district by maximising the potential of the previously neglected area and transforming it into a hub of community activity.

The riverside pier employs materials that reference the community’s historical past of gold, silver and copper mining in a contemporary way, but just as importantly also represents an economic and cultural rebirth following the damage caused by Cyclone Maria in 2015.

Woods Bagot and Urbis revitalise Rockhampton Riverside precinct
The riverside pier and lift structure which form the Rockhampton Riverside Precinct. Image: Florian Groehn

According to Woods Bagot, the riverside precinct has become a destination in its own right not just within Rockhampton but also regional Queensland. As part of the Master Plan, the site has become a public urban park comprising a playground, playful water features, amenities, local artwork, terraced landscaping, and places for shade and outdoor seating.

As part of the design response, the architects drew on and incorporated multiple influences from nearby sites, natural landscapes, and local industries which combined to form the overall composition of the two-story public building.

The 300 sqm building features a public landing on the lower ground level, while the main concourse accommodates a modern restaurant serving fresh seafood and seasonal produce.

Additionally, the design also draws on the local vernacular forming a direct relationship with the quintessential ‘Queenslander’, with its large overhanging roof providing solar shading while allowing for uninterrupted views of the natural landscape.

The building’s linear shape and industrial aesthetic draw heavily from the steel Fitzroy Bridge to the North, while Mount Archer’s mining history inspired the form of the rich, earthy colour scheme.

The natural materials palette of stone, timber, metal, and glass allowed local craftsmen to assemble elements by hand using traditional methods. Profiled weathered metal 'blades' flank the building and allow for views of the surrounding 19-hectare parkland while providing respite from the sun’s heat.

The 'breezeway' as the name suggests allows cool breezes to flow through and ventilate the building naturally, while the building’s vertical lift responds to the location’s subtropical climates and flood-prone coast, acting as they way-finder to the site, alluding to the masts of ships.

Clad in Corten steel, the lift's robust exterior reflects the rich tones of the landscape and the history of copper, gold and silver mining in the area.

Solar panels on the roof generate green electricity which is fed back into the local power grid, while electric vehicle charging and bicycle maintenance stations are available throughout the park.

Woods Bagot and Urbis revitalise Rockhampton Riverside precinct
The design draws on the local vernacular and landscape. Image: Florian Groehn

What they say

Rockhampton Riverside Precinct has become a destination for everyone to visit, occupy and enjoy. The vision of restoring the energy from the gold period has been realised along with the aim to provide the people of Rockhampton with a world-class civic and recreational space.

The finished design delivers over 30,000 m2 of public space, tripling the amount of civic and open space that previously existed.

Putting people at the centre of the design process is always where we start, and this is exactly the outcome we planned for – creating a special place for community gathering and to drive a groundswell of local pride in the city.

- Mark Damant, Woods Bagot Principal

Urbis worked with Rockhampton Regional Council on the redevelopment of the Riverside Precinct, a world-class waterfront area on the shores of Queensland’s Fitzroy River. 

The design incorporates playground areas, river lookouts, shaded walkways and gathering spaces. A streetscape along iconic Quay Street integrates the city’s edge with the riverbank parklands.

(The) design will revitalise and activate Rockhampton’s iconic riverside precinct by establishing a high quality realm space that will be widely celebrated and used by the community. 

- Urbis


Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.
Woods Bagot
Urban Design
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Find out more in our privacy policy.
Accept Cookies