Brisbane Ferry Terminals. QLD. 2014
Future-proofing the River Commute
In 2010 and 2011 the City of Brisbane and region experienced a series of two of the worst floods in its memory. Brisbane, being no stranger to severe weather, received record high rainfall after a period of flooding and over-saturation, and the banks of the Brisbane River could tolerate no more. The floods, recounted by many as a defining moment in the cities history, brought devastation to countless homes and infrastructure along the river including the public ferry terminals.
Once again we are reminded of the awesome power of nature, and once again we are given the opportunity to innovate and transcend adversity.
With $145 million in funding from The Federal and State Government, Brisbane has been able to overcome disaster and deliver 8 new structures designed to be the world’s first flood-resilient ferry terminals. Designed and engineered by Cox Rayner Architects and Aurecon, the pontoons ultimately reassert the River as a compelling icon for the City of Brisbane - and a source of identity through hardship and perseverance.
At the risk of romanticising creativity, design has been leveraged as a tool for positive change and a liberator of the calamitous effects of natural disasters.
The agenda of the ferry terminal design firstly promotes resiliency and safety, but also a stronger relationship between the water, the shoreline and the city. To achieve this the project drew from a strong collaboration between engineering, architecture, landscape and wayfinding - each discipline performing an important role to enhance customer experience and bolster a new identity for the Brisbane ferry network.
The new structures act as a conduit between the water and the city, critical to that idea is a device to clearly announce the entries. Dotdash designed signage for both the land and water entry points inspired by and considerate of the strong gestural forms and materials within the architecture. Each entry provides a bold marker easily legible from a distance and illuminated for night voyage. At waterside only the terminal name is identified and integrated into the large structural pier holding the pontoon in place. At landside the ferry mode symbols are displayed to connect with existing transport communication across various media. The entry signage serves as an orientation landmark consistently seen throughout the ferry network.
Once past the threshold of an entry, embarking or disembarking, signage is careful to integrate within the pontoons various folds and turns in service of a seamless customer experience. Information cabinets consolidate multiple pieces of network information in one place and provide QR codes to digitally connect to online resources.
Line maps provide familiar network information and are consistently located across ferry sites. The orientation of the diagram is heads up, where the user is always facing the river, furthering the connection between the self and the water, set against the backdrop of the city.
Project Team Heath Pedrola, Keith Sullivan, Erin Stromgren, Larraine Henning, Peter Rudledge
Photographer Daniele Milazzo, Dotdash
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