FEAT OF ENGINEERING
STRIKING a balance between old and new has been priority for those entrusted with heritage-listed Collins Place at South Bank.
The Grey St landmark is now being incorporated into the $590 million Southpoint development by the Anthony John Group.
Group managing director Tony John said he wanted the heritage building to become a beacon for visitors.
“When people come to Southpoint (they) will say let’s meet at that little heritage building, Collins Place,” he said.
“If you look around Brisbane, there aren’t a lot of heritage buildings.
“We see this as a wonderful opportunity to preserve the heritage building.”
As part of the construction work, Collins Place has now been raised 9m.
Once the project is completed, it will sit above a new retail precinct.
Mr John said raising the building had been delicate due to its brick construction, which meant the house could have fallen apart if not raised correctly.
It took one week to lift the building using hydraulic jacks and a month to excavate underneath it.
The structure weighs 330 tonnes and is supported by four trusses, each holding up about 80 tonnes.
“We had this wonderful little heritage building on this very modern construction site,” Mr John said. “Our questions were how do we protect it and how do we integrate it?
“To give this building a lease of life, there has to be an integration between the new and old.
“Collins Place is an icon, it will be the entry statement for our fresh food precinct and our restaurant precinct.”
Collins Place became well known as the Spaghetti House during World Expo 88 and Mr John said it was likely to be used as a restaurant again.
Built in 1889 for Ship Inn proprietor Michael Foley, the building is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, which describes it as “the sole surviving house in what was once one of South Brisbane’s earliest residential streets’’.
The name Collins Place was given to commemorate the 1857 deed of grant holder, squatter John Collins.
HISTORICAL MOVES: Developer Tony John says protecting the heritage Collins Place building within the Southpoint construction site is a delicate operation.