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World-first flood resilient terminal opens in Brisbane

Milton ferry terminal

19 January 2015 - Brisbane’s newest ferry terminal to open since the devastating 2011 floods incorporates world-first technology safeguarding the city’s terminals from similar natural disasters, while providing new generation additional transport options for local commuters.

The Milton Ferry Terminal, opened yesterday by Brisbane City Council, was designed collaboratively by teams at Aurecon and Cox Architecture. The engineering and architecture firms were commissioned as consultant to the project following their winning entry in the Brisbane ferry terminal design competition following the 2011 flood.

The new terminal, the first of many to be rolled out over the coming year, features a single pier to provide commuters with largely unobstructed views of the Brisbane River, a hull shaped base to allow flood matter to flow unhindered, and a detachable gangway designed to reduce the pressure of flood waters and ensure the structure remains intact.

Aurecon Project Director Arne Nilsen said: “I am honoured to have been part of the team that worked with Brisbane City Council to deliver to the community a new generation terminal that takes ferry infrastructure to a new level.”

“The terminal is an impressive marriage of form and function. It showcases cutting-edge design which integrates technical innovation and elegant form to deliver an iconic feature in the river city, and it’s been designed to achieve flood resilience and to last for 50 years.”

Cox Architecture Director Brendan Gaffney added: “These new generation terminals are a fine example of how architects and engineers are working together symbiotically to evolve building typologies beyond the mundane and into new territory.

“We challenged each other throughout the process, not only to solve the technical aspects of Brisbane City Council’s brief, but to push the limits of the possibilities across every single component.

“We hope these terminals will become synonymous with Brisbane’s forward-looking attitude to the design of public transport infrastructure and enhance commuter’s experience of and connection to the city’s key natural feature – its river.”

The innovative single river pier attachment removes the need for a forest of piles, enhancing the architectural vision of creating an iconic experience for the Brisbane community and visitors to the city. The robust 11 metre high pier has the capacity to deflect heavy objects in flood waters to avoid significant impact to the pontoon.

To cope with the Brisbane River’s tidal range, which can exceed two metres, the state-of-the-art gangway is a world first for a ferry network. It incorporates a uniquely designed floor which maintains level intermediate landings whatever the tide. During a flood it will detach at the shore end, enabling it to rise with flood waters and swing behind the pontoon and avoid being struck by debris.

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