The purpose of the project was to develop a quality, budget accommodation/backpacker facility which brought travellers together in the spirit of hostelling, but also provided greater privacy and more amenity through the use of twin and double rooms, some with ensuites.
As the flagship of YHA Queensland, the building had to reflect the culture and lifestyle of the region and be innovative in the style of accommodation facilities it provided to the backpacker industry. The architecture therefore had to be innovative and memorable to complement the spirit of the project. In addition the building was to passively respond to Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate, with public areas opening up to become indoor/outdoor spaces where guests may enjoy the feeling of shelter whilst inhabiting the edges of the building.
The Hostel contains accommodation for the manager and a duty manager, reception, laundry, public café and lounge, disabled facilities and will accommodate up to 50 persons. Facilities are generally shared except for the provision of four private bathrooms incorporated into the double rooms. A shared private bathing room has also been provided.
A very restricted budget combined with difficult foundation issues (it was built over a railway tunnel). These factors were responded to with a rudimentary design strategy, low cost concrete block and concrete construction were used in a basically orthogonal and efficient structural diagram. However, the interventions of the curvilinear stair form with a selected use of rich colour, central sky lighting, and lightweight steel detailing sctivate the external character and internal space beyond their essential rawness.