After Brisbane’s CityCat Terminals capsized in the 2011 flood, the Queensland Government held a competition to see if a more resilient solution could be found.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

Project Name: Brisbane Ferry Terminals
Studio Name:
Cox Architecture
Completion date: 2015
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photography: Ross pottinger and Christopher Frederick jones

Brisbane Ferry Terminals by Cox Architecture - Sheet1
Harbour ©Ross pottinger and Christopher Frederick jones

COX devised three winning remedies: fitting the gangways with air tanks, a hinge and a clasp enabling them to float and swivel around under a flood’s force; a single pier tall and robust enough to prevent pontoons floating off and to withstand large vessel impacts and; shaping the pontoon like a boat to deflect debris.

Brisbane Ferry Terminals by Cox Architecture - Sheet2
Seating Deck ©Ross pottinger and Christopher Frederick jones

Simultaneously, the terminals were designed to enhance river travel and public engagement to meet the Council’s aspiration of being a ‘new world city.’

Brisbane Ferry Terminals by Cox Architecture - Sheet3
Connecting Bridge ©Ross pottinger and Christopher Frederick jones

Removing multiple piles opened the river to unimpeded views, a canopy provided shelter, and ramping on the pontoon guided movement and offered varied places to relax. Each terminal is characterised by its connection with the land and neighbouring community.

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