Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre.
Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre. Mike Richards GLA201114BULD

Old mixes with new along Gladstone skyline

THE skyline of Gladstone is almost unrecognisable from a few years ago.

We asked architect Jake Breedt to take stock of the changes.

He says the modern buildings erected between colonial brick treasures now define the city's best buildings.

Mr Breedt said he felt it was important to look at the environment in Gladstone.

"(Building something) that relates to the ocean and to the harbour is important," he said.

"I would use elements of marine architecture with sails and floating roofs."

Marine architecture is heavily incorporated in two of the city's most prominent buildings - Kullaroo House and the information centre at the marina.

NOW AND THEN: Kullaroo House, Goondoon Street, Gladstone, 2011. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer GLA200111NNOW5
NOW AND THEN: Kullaroo House, Goondoon Street, Gladstone, 2011. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer GLA200111NNOW5

Kullaroo House, the Port Authority building, was built in 1911 out of brick with a corrugated iron roof. An extension was finished in 1997.

Former Port Corporation employee Noel Bowley said Kullaroo house had been redesigned to look like a ship.

"If you look at it from the marina, they had the wings and the vertically-elongated window represents where the captain stands steering the ship," he said.

"The swamp bloodwood trees are supposed to be waves splashing against the hull of the ship."

Mr Bowley said the marina buildings had an intentional "fibro shack" look.

"The idea was to replicate the weatherboard houses in Manly beach. Now that's one iconic example of Gladstone," he said.

"There are plenty of nice buildings around if you start looking."

The old Gladstone Post Office.
The old Gladstone Post Office. Mike Richards

Mr Breedt, whose firm designed the large house looking out from Auckland Point, said functionality was key to a building's longevity.

"How it functions in terms of energy- efficiency and how it holds up against the current standards is important for these old buildings," he said.

Gladstone resident Dianne Guse said she liked the mixture of old and new with the Oaks Hotel, as it sat attached to the Grand Hotel.

"The Oaks looks more modern for Gladstone," she said.

History of Kullaroo House

  • Erected in 1910-11 for Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, designed by Queensland Architect JPO Cowlinshaw
  • In the early 1960s the building was a boarding house, known as Kullaroo House, named after the Aboriginal word meaning road that leads to water
  • In the 1970s it became law offices for Goodwin, McKenzie, Forbes and Partners
  • In the late 1980s it was transformed into a restaurant
  • The Gladstone Port Authority acquired the building and expanded it in 1996-97


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