Brisbane Open House (Day 1) : Discover the City’s Hidden Radiance and Elegance

Summary :
Brisbane Domestic Airport
Brisbane Airport Station
Brisbane Central Station
Brisbane City Hall
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises
Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House
Hotel Embassy
The General Douglas MacArthur Room
MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Queen Street
Visitor Information Center Brisbane
Tattersall Club
Brisbane Arcade
General Post Office
The Manor Apartments
National Australia Bank
ANZAC Square Memorial
Ecosciences Precinct

When I lived in Australia between 2013-2014, I received impression about Brisbane from colleagues and friends that there was nothing to see in the city. I did not heard so much good and enthusiastic feedback about Brisbane. Most people whom I talked that had been in the city just advised me that Melbourne still far better, then they will follow a suggestion to visit Gold Coast instead of Brisbane. But, I was still curious and eager to see the city. I wondered why it is a capital of Queensland instead of Gold Coast.

I searched the internet to check what to see in Brisbane, looked for popular and interesting place to see. During the search, I came across an event that made me pushed to materialize my plan. The event is called Brisbane Open House happened last October 2013. When I learned about it, I felt excited because it will give me a chance to see more of Brisbane.

I visited the official website of Brisbane Open House (please check here) and ordered the guide-book that only cost $5AUD. I signed up for the event and registered for buildings with limited visitors. I registered in three buildings, two out of three, I was successfully selected. The two buildings were Riverside Centre and Translational Research Institute. Unfortunately, I was not lucky to be chosen to visit One One One Eagle Street. When I received the guide-book, I was more excited and looked forward to the event.

A month before the scheduled open house, I booked my flight and my accommodation. But few days before my scheduled flight to TigerAir (one of the budget airline in Australia), they canceled my inbound flight to Brisbane without explanation and I was furious of what the airline did because I had few days left before the Brisbane Open House event and booking that was tight to the schedule is more expensive than early booking. I requested TigerAir to compensate the additional cost that I incurred to the other airline where I booked my new inbound flight to the city. I flew via Virgin Australia. My supposed arrival in the city at 8:15 AM in the morning of Saturday has changed to 9:10 AM.

I visited Brisbane for the Open House event which happened over the weekend. As I only spent one night in the city, I never brought a luggage which reduced the cost of my flight. It was a short flight from Melbourne. After more than 2 hours in the air, we touched down at Brisbane Airport. I disembarked the plane and walked out of the departure terminal. When I reached outside of the terminal, I was glad to find a train terminal that I can use as public transportation to reach the city center cheaper and easier. My arrival time in the airport was timely and I still had enough time to commute to the city before my scheduled building tour in Riverside Centre at 11:00AM. I took from the Airport Station and went out at Central Station.

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Brisbane Domestic Airport

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Domestic Airport from Airport Station

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Brisbane Airport Station

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Different Stations that the train passed on the way to Central Station from Airport Station

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Brisbane Central Station

I walked from Central Station towards Riverside Centre. I exited in Ann Street and turned right. I turned left at Albert Street where I saw Museum of Brisbane and Brisbane City Hall. From Albert Street, I turned left to Elizabeth Street while trying to find my way to Riverside Centre.

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Brisbane City Hall with Clock Tower

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One One One Eagle Street

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Riparian Plaza (left) and One One One Eagle Street (right)

I reached Riverside Centre and had amazing building tour with a bonus of exploring Riverside Quarter, the ground building. For the detailed building tour, check here.

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Riverside Centre

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Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter

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With Brisbane River and Story Bridge from the top

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Nearby Buildings Surrounds Brisbane River from Riverside Quarter

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Riverside Quarter

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Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter

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Customs House from Riverside Quarter

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Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier

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Bavarian Pier Cafe

Coming from Riverside Quarter, my walks led me from Eagle Street Pier to Mary Street where I passed some restaurants like Bavarian Pier Cafe. Next, I saw Brisbane Polo Club which was a former Naldham House, a former two-storey office building built in 1866 through Australasian Steam Navigation Company. As little bit history of it, the building undergone renovations under several shipping companies that took over the building, until it became under MacDonald Hamilton and Co. which managed the building from 1914 until 1986. In 1989, the building was purchased by AMP and leased to polo players until it was sold to them in 2003.

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Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House

My walk continued from Mary Street to Albert Street where I found a heritage building called Hotel Embassy. Below are the excerpts that I found about it.

The Embassy Hotel was built in 1928 during Brisbane’s interwar building boom. It is one of eight remaining pre-World War II corner hotels in Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD), and the only one erected during the interwar period. Designed in the Interwar Commercial Palazzo style, the building is an unusual example of architect Jack Donoghue’s work and, along with Invicta House and Pioneer House, provides the south side intersection of Edward and Elizabeth Street with a distinct interwar presence.

–Heritage Brisbane

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Hotel Embassy

Walking within central business district of the city, I found a museum, a museum that I never expected that I will be familiar to it. I went to MacArthur Museum Brisbane. For the quick tour to the museum, please check here.

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The General Douglas MacArthur Room/Office at MacArthur Museum Brisbane

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MacArthur Chamber

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Queen Street near Brisbane Arcade

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Visitor Information Center Brisbane

While walking at Edward Street, I turned left at Queen Street where I had a chance to see Tattersall Club and Brisbane Arcade. Tatters All club was formed in 1865 by group of men prominent in business and horse-racing in Queensland. Then, a three-storey building was built in 1926 and to provide billiard, card, reading and dining rooms for its members. The building has been extended in 1936 to be able to contain new dining rooms and kitchen. In 1990, it was refurbished again for redevelopment that will include fine dining restaurant, large function rooms, 18 accommodation rooms, gymnasium, indoor heated swimming pool, a library and administration offices. The building is architecturally important because of the period interiors which features the use of materials from Queensland. The building’s facade in Queen and Edward Streets are good examples of Classical Revival and Art Deco styles.

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Tattersall Club

My walks continued at Queen Street until I saw Brisbane Arcade. The name was familiar as I had visited similar arcades in Melbourne and Sydney. And the thought excited me at that time because I knew I will discover another arcades in Australia which became additional collection for me about traditional arcade shopping center in the country.

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Brisbane Arcade

When I entered the arcade, I felt amazed because of interior design of the building. These kind of interiors can be only seen in old and historical buildings. The design of the arcade are said to be based on traditional arcade shopping in Europe during late 18th century. For the detailed photos of the Brisbane Arcade and its interiors, please check here.

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Central Walkway from the upper level showing the terrazo flooring Queen Street towards Adelaide Street with terrazzo flooring and leading to gallery stores on each side

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Roof structure with lightweight exposed steel trusses and clerestory windows on both sides to admit light naturally

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Central Walkway towards Adelaide Street displaying the ‘Mirage’ 1978, Stainless Steel and Bronsze by Gidon Graetz.

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With lead-light windows on each gallery stores at the upper level, ballusters, and chandelier lights

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One of the stores inside Brisbane Arcade

Brisbane Arcade was built in 1923 and founded by Maine family. Even though the family has interesting story related to the arcade which detailed in the history section of their official website of the building. In my own opinion, if I will understand what the Maine family are doing, because of what father of the family did, they wanted to pay forward of the sins of their father by giving the fortunes of the arcade back to community such as helping University of Queensland Medical School.

Queen Street has lots of important buildings, another one is General Post Office which is a heritage building considered today as one of Brisbane’s finest historic landmarks.

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General Post Office

While walking along Queen Street, another noticeable building to be seen just beside General Post Office is The Manor Apartments, though it was not included on the list of building for Open House Brisbane event, the external design of the building was captivating and it was registered as heritage with its gargoyles and elegant bronze semi-circular windows overlooking Queen St. It was the tallest building in the city when built in 1931.

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The Manor Apartments

National Australia Bank, another heritage building exist along Queen Street. It was a former Queensland National Bank head office built in 1885. The building symbolizes the close relationship of Queensland Bank and Queensland Government. It was designed by Architect FDG Stanley in Classical Revival Style. The Giant order columns of Oamaru (New Zealand) limestone dominates the Queen and Creek Street. Please check here to see detailed post on building tour.

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National Australia Bank

ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance which located in heritage listed ANZAC Square which can be found between Ann Street and Adelaide Street. If coming from Central Station and exited in Ann Street, ANZAC Square can be seen immediately. This was the third ANZAC related structure that I had seen so far while exploring Australia. The first was in Melbourne and second was in Canberra. The town square was built to honor the Queenslander soldiers fought in the war.

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ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance

Before ending my tour in the city which still part of Brisbane Open House, I left the business district to travel to Dutton Park where Ecosciences Precinct is located. I return to Central Station to reach Park Road Railway Station. From that station I walked towards my destination which is a science building.

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I was excited that there are science buildings that were open anytime for vistors during the city’s open house event. And I was really glad that the Ecosciences Precinct was not included in pre-book tours wherein only selected people that registered can come to the building. I came late in afternoon and hoping I was still able to catch-up the schedules before it ends the day. To see detailed post about the building’s interior, please check here.

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At the back of Ecosciences Precinct

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At the front of Ecosciences Precinct

© THE HIDDEN PANORAMA 2019

Scenery from the roof of Ecosciences Precinct

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Translational Research Institute (left)

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The Gabba (left)

Summary :
Brisbane Domestic Airport
Brisbane Airport Station
Brisbane Central Station
Brisbane City Hall
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises
Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House
Hotel Embassy
The General Douglas MacArthur Room
MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Queen Street
Visitor Information Center Brisbane
Tattersall Club
Brisbane Arcade
General Post Office
The Manor Apartments
National Australia Bank
ANZAC Square Memorial
Ecosciences Precinct

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

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