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Activation of a destination…Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane

There’s a lot of buzz about Queensland’s capital city Brisbane at the moment, with an array of acclaimed hotels opening and a plethora of food precincts popping up all over town, this city is on the move.

One of the latest, most daring ventures is the Howard Smith Wharf project literally built on a disused site underneath the Story Bridge on the north side of town. Take a ferry to Eagle Street pier and walk towards the Powerhouse and presto you’re at a lifestyle precinct to rival any around the world.

HSW Nominees, led by Adam Flaskas, were awarded the contract by Brisbane City Council to re-imagine the wharf site. Originally constructed in 1930 to provide Brisbanites with work during the depression, the site was basically abandoned in the 1960’s and heritage listed thereafter.

One of the last historical landscapes left in the city, the disused site included offices, wharfs and sheds. Located on approximately seven acres of land, the Howard Smith Wharf project has allocated 80% of the land to cycle and walking paths and open green spaces.

A brand spanking new hotel ‘The Fantauzzo’ (from the Art Series group) has been tastefully built into the cascading rocks. With contemporary lines, soft green velvet furnishings, fantauzzo’s famed portraits and large windows that frame the dramatic rock face- it’s all about the location.

The hotel houses an exquisite rooftop bar ‘Fiume’ and Italian eatery ‘Polpetta’ that complement the alfresco dining options along the wharf. From aptly named ‘Mr Percival’s’ built on the river directly under the story bridge to the on-site brewery ‘Felons’ with its retro trucks and beer hall that capture the water views.

There’s an array of quaint function spaces like Citrus, Wisteria and Bougainvillea house or wharf style Howard Hall and Rivershed that have been repurposed for large scale conventions and conferences.

Supersized industrial lifts cascade down the rocks to connect Bowen Terrace to the wharves and there’s a makeshift shipwreck for the kids to play in whilst the adults eat and drink on the vast green lawns.

Howard Smith Wharves is a hive of activity anytime of the day and has activated this part of the city as a must-see destination. There is an array of public events planned for the promenade area, that include street art festivals, live music and craft beer events.

Brisbane it’s your time to shine and with an active bid to host the 2032 Olympics, there’s plenty more planned to activate this picturesque river city- stay tuned!