When it comes to protecting heritage, the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project team is leaving nothing to chance and is firmly securing several culturally significant buildings ahead of hard demolition and excavation works starting.
Earlier this month, a 20-tonne crane lifted a series of steel beams into place, surrounding the external walls of the former Department of Primary Industries (DPI) building, to act as a ‘brace’ that will keep the building stable and secure ahead of work starting in the neighbouring precinct.
Destination Brisbane Consortium Project Manager Katrina Face said the steel bracing is precautionary.
“The strengthening work is an investment we can make now to ensure these heritage buildings remain unchanged during the future excavation work,” Ms Face said.
“These heritage buildings have held up well for more than 150 years, and this bracing work is about ensuring we can preserve them as they are today, before we then restore and repurpose them for the public to enjoy in 2022 when Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is expected to open.”
As part of Destination Brisbane Consortium’s heritage management approach there have been heritage footing investigations, the installation of extensive monitoring procedures and equipment, and now steel bracing.
Ms Face said results from a dilapidation survey identified two heritage buildings – the former DPI building and Harris Terrace – as having minor to moderate surface cracking in their current state.
The bracing work is designed to prevent existing surface cracking from worsening.
“The steel bracing is a ‘belts and braces’ failsafe measure to ensure the buildings don’t deteriorate further while excavation work is occurring,” she said.
“Once the excavation is complete and the foundations of our development have been set, the bracing can then be carefully removed, enabling us to then restore and repurpose these beautiful heritage treasures.
“The heritage buildings are an important part of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development, which will shine a new spotlight on Brisbane’s history.”
Harris Terrace will also be fitted with steel bracing in the coming weeks.
The precinct, on the river’s edge directly opposite South Bank, is recognised as the birthplace of Brisbane’s European settlement and has one of Australia’s greatest collections of culturally significant buildings and places dating back to the early 1800s.
When Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is open, expected in 2022, these heritage buildings will be repurposed and open for the public to enjoy.