The Queens Wharf development will have to contend with noise from the Riverside Expressway, Photo: Supplied Star Entertainment’s Geoff Hogg says Queens Wharf’s own ambient noise will be used to drown out the Riverside Expressway. Photo: Christopher Pearce
The Queens Wharf development will be built around the Riverside Expressway. Photo: Supplied
A busy motorway may not be the best neighbour for a resort, but the consortium behind Brisbane’s planned Queens Wharf casino and entertainment complex plan to fight noise with noise.
The Riverside Expressway is one of Brisbane’s busiest roads, with more than 130,000 vehicles a day driving right through the Queens Wharf precinct.
Star Entertainment Group Queensland managing director Geoff Hogg said the Riverside Expressway was a reality they would have to deal with.
A part of that, Mr Hogg said, was taking a glass-half-full approach and referring to it as a “shade structure” rather than a noisy and unsightly piece of road infrastructure.
“Would you prefer it to be there? Most probably not,” he said.
“But if it’s there, you make the most of it.
“So it’s a shade structure during the day and, at night-time, it’s actually a great structure for us to be able to light below.”
Anybody who had spent time on the CBD’s north bank of the Brisbane River would be familiar with the noise the 1975-opened Riverside Expressway generated.
Mr Hogg said Queens Wharf would combat that noise with some ambient noise of its own.
“The reason we’ve got a lot of water going through the public realm is that water is a subtle way to change noise,” he said.
“We’ve obviously focused a lot on the subtropical, but you’ll notice there are areas throughout where we’ve got water and bits and pieces to counteract the noise.
“There are structures you can do – noise mainly goes up, not down, (and) you counter with other noise.
“We’re putting quite a bit of music into the precinct through speakers, but we’re trying not to have music and artificial sound over the top of, say, water and other noises.
“You literally have to turn that up when the crowd’s quiet and when the crowds are there, the noise of people will set the actual expressway.”
Mr Hogg said, in an ideal world, Queens Wharf would not have to contend with the Riverside Expressway.
“It’s like everything, you have some parts of the development you like and others that are a little harder, so you make the most of it,” he said.
“South Bank is a beautiful area, really outdoors, subtropical, has a lot of history (and is) very well activated.
“On our side, we have this large sunshade, which they don’t on the other side, so we’ve got to leverage that part.”
Last year, AECOM Australia and New Zealand design and planning managing director James Rosenwax said the Riverside Expressway was “strangling the city” and needed to go underground.
The comments prompted Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to question the viability of such a move, saying there would need to be a “very strong cost benefit analysis for this one to proceed”.
In 2008, a Brisbane City Council submission on the abandoned North Bank proposal stated the undergrounding of the expressway should be considered the “ultimate aim”.
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